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Vol I, No. 1, N.Z. JOUKNAL OP SCIENCE (New Issue) JANUABY, 1891. 

Judicio pevpendc . et si tibi vera videntur 

Dede mantis : aut si Jalsum est, adcingere contra. 

— Lucretius. 

The New Zealand Journal of Science was first published just nine 
years ago and alter an existence of four years, its publication was 
suspended until better times should dawn on the Colony. The causes 
which led to the discontinuance of the periodical were stated in the 
last number, that of November, 1885. These causes may again lead 
to the suspension of the present issue, but we trust that by the 
exercise of a more severe economy in management, all expenses but 
the most necessary will be eliminated, and thus the Journal will be 
kept going as long as a minimum number of subscribers can be got. 
As was stated in the circular sent out on 1st November, 1890, there is 
no margin of profit in the publication of such a periodica], unless the 
subscribers are far more numerous than past experience leads us to 
expect. Should, however, the number of subscribers exceed our 
anticipations, then the size of the publication will be increased, and 
we may even hope to resume illustrations. As we have no machinery 
for the coUection of subscriptions, it must be understood that all 
subscribers are expected to pay in advance, as on no other plan can 
the venture be carried out. 

As regards the lines on which the publication will be conducted, 
past experience may supply a few hints. It is intended, as far as 
possible, to exclude all purely technical matter such as descriptions of 
species, &c, except where brief details may be introduced descriptive 
of authors' papers. Where it is desirable to give information on 
purely technical papers relating to New Zealand, the attempt will be 
made to obtain simple and concise abstracts. It is hoped that all 
scientific papers relating to this colony, or containing matter of 
special interest in this part of the world, will be brought under the 
notice of the Editor. Notes on Natural History, Acclimatisation and 
kindred subjects ought to bulk largely in such a periodical. We 
should also like to see our columns made use of for the discussion of 
scientific methods in mining and other applied arts, which are of 
immense use in a colony like this. 

It may be asked : What is there in the signs of the times which 
should lead to greater anticipations of success than in 1882 ? We 
reply that in view of the recent formation of the Australasian 
Association for the advancement of Science, and the fact that its 
meeting this season is to be held in New Zealand, the time seems 
opportune for reviving the Journal. Such a gathering of scientific 
men in these islands, can hardly fail to excite a spirit of renewed 
activity among some whose interest may be flagging. 

Every year there will probably be a more and more determined 
attempt to cut out of the annual Parliamentary estimates of this 
colony the small vote which secures the publication of the Transac- 
tions of the New Zealand Institute. The class of men who are beinQ- 


returned by many of the constituencies can hardly be expected to do 
anything to foster an institution regarding whose aims and benefits 
they can only have the haziest ideas, beyond that it is mainly sup- 
ported by men who are not of their class. Unfortunately there is 
but little cohesion among the different branches of the Institute, 
beyond what is secured by their belonging to a central governing- 
body in Wellington. Now a periodical like the Journal of Science 
should furnish just such a means of communication between the 
societies affiliated to the Institute as would serve to bind them 
together and bring them more into touch with one another. It is 
hoped, therefore, that these Societies will do what lies in their power 
to foster the Journal. 

During the former period of its existence the publication was 
conducted at the sole risk of one individual. On the present occasion 
the attempt has been made to interest a larger number of persons in 
the venture, and it is gratifying to record that the following gentlemen 
have undertaken to act as sponsors for the new issue : — 

A. S. Atkinson, Nelson ; F. R. Chapman, Dunedin ; Chas. 
Chilton, Port Chalmers ; J. D. Enys, Castle Hill, Canterbury ; 
Dr. T. M. Hocken, Dunedin; Professor Hutton, Christchurch ; R. M. 
Laing, Christchurch ; Jas. McKerrow, Wellington ; S. Percy Smith, 
Wellington; and G. M. Thomson, Dunedin. 

It now rests with those who take an interest in matters scientific, 
to see that they do their part to back the efforts of these gentlemen, 
and make the New Zealand Journal of Science a success. 



The precise history of any existing animal or plant is extremely 
difficult to get at and can only be known with certainty by the 
discovery of a complete series of fossils linking it to the extinct 
ancestral form from which it sprang. Naturally such complete 
histories are among the rarest of biological triumphs, and even 
partial histories such as we have of many of the Mammalia are only 
obtainable in very favourable cases. As a rule we have to depend 
upon the evidence afforded by anatomy and embryology. 

Anatomy is an exact and most valuable guide to affinity, 
especially between closely allied forms, but no truth has been more 
abundantly proved by recent research than that results obtained by 

*This article is a semi-popular abstract of my paper "Observations on the Anatomy 
and Development of Apteryx," shortly to be published in the Philosophical 


this method must be tested and corrected at every point by the study 
of development : it is impossible to understand thoroughly the 
structure of any species or of any organ until we know something of 
its becoming. As the organism develops from the simple egg-cell 
to the complete adult, it passes rapidly through stages corresponding 
in a general way to those which its ancestors passed through in the 
course of their evolution, during long ages, from some simple 
unicellular form, and it is the recognition of this principle — that 
individual is a recapitulation of ancestral development — that has 
given to embryology so important a place in modern biological work. 

The Kiwi — including under that name the four species of the 
genus Apteryx — is the most anomalous and aberrant of existing 
birds, and, living as it does only in the three islands of the New 
Zealand group, may be considered as one of the proudest possessions 
of our colony. 

Apteryx is sharply distinguished from all other birds by the 
position of the nostrils which are at the tip of the long beak instead 
of near the base. It is also remarkable for its small eyes and its 
wonderfully perfect olfactory organs, all other existing birds having 
large eyes and a comparatively poorly developed organ of smell. 
The eye, moreover, differs from that of all known birds in being 
devoid of the pecten, a plaited process of the choroid coat which 
extends from near the entrance of the optic nerve to the back of the 
crystalline lens. 

The Kiwi is placed, along with the Ostrich, Rhea, Emu, Casso- 
wary and Moa, in the sub-class Ratitve, all other existing birds 
being included under a second sub-class Carinat.e. The distinctive 
characters of these two groups may be very briefly summarized 
and are, for the most part, connected with the power of flight 
possessed by the great majority of the Carinatte and the absence of 
that power in the Ratite, which are without exception terrestrial 
birds with extremely small and insignificant wings — quite incapable 
of raising their usually bulky bodies from the ground. 

1. In Eatitfe the feathers are evenly distributed over the body : 
in Carinata? they usually spring from well defined feather tracts 
separated from one another by featherless spaces. 

2. In Carinatre there are large tail-feathers or rectrices arranged 
in a semicircle around the blunt tail proper or uropygium (" parson's 
nose ") : in Ratitoe there are no well denned rectrices. 

3. In Carinatce the barbules of the feathers are bound together 
by means of microscopic hooklets so that the whole vane of the 
feather forms a coherent membrane : in Ratita: there are no hooklets, 
the barbules are therefore disconnected and the feathers have a 
downy or more or less hair-like appearance. 

4. In Carinatre the breast-bone is a large transversely curved 
bone provided with a keel for the attachment of the pectoral 
muscles : in Ratite the sternum is usually flat and never has a 


5. In Carinatse the scapula and coracoid — the two chief bones of 
the shoulder-girdle- -are large and set to one another at an angle 
which is usually acute though it may rise to 106°. There is nearly 
always a furcula or merry thought attached to a process of the 
scapula called the acromion and to two processes of the coracoid, the 
acrocoracoid or clavicular process and the procoracoid process. In 
the Ratitaa the coracoid and scapular are small, fused together into a 
single bone, and their long axes make an obtuse angle : the furcula 
is either absent or greatly reduced and the acromion, acrocoracoid, 
and procoracoid processes are reduced to mere insignificant tubercles. 

G. The quadrate, or bone by which the lower jaw articulates 
with the skull, has a double head in Carinatse, a single head in Ratita?. 
As it is single-headed also in embryo Carinatse thi^ character is 
usually held to indicate the more primitive position of the Ratita?. 

7. In Ratify the hinder ends of the pterygoid bones of the skull 
articulate with a pair of large basi-pterygoid processes which spring 
from the body of the basi-sphenoid bone : in Carinata? the basi- 
pterygoid processes are small, spring as a rule from the base of the 
rostrum of the basi-sphenoid, not from the body of the bone, and 
articulate with the pterygoids some distance from their posterior 

8. The vomer of Ratita} is a large broad bone : in Carinata? it is 
usually small. 

Zoologists are agreed as to the origin of birds from some kind of 
reptilian ancestor, but there are many differences of opinion as to the 
relations of the two sub-classes. The older ornithologists considered 
the whole of the Ratitse as an order (Cursores) equivalent not to the 
whole of the Garinataa but to one of its subdivisions, such as Passeres, 
Gallina?, &c. The view now generally adopted is that the Ratita? 
include several orders, each of which, although containing only one 
or two genera, is the zoological equivalent of an entire order of 
Carinata?. This view is taken by, inter alia, Prof. A. Newton (Encyc. 
Brit., Art. Ornithology) and Prof. Furbringer whose learned and 
colossal work on the Morphology and Classification of Birds has 
brought the results of all former workers to a focus and has provided 
the student of the group with a critical summary of the entire 
subject such as has never been attempted before. 

Taking, then, the Ratita? and Carinata? as fairly equivalent 
groups the question arises what is their relation to one another? 
There are three views taken by modern writers on this matter. 

1. The Ratita? represent an ancient type of birds derived from 
flightless reptilian ancestors. According to this view the progenitors 
of the group have never possessed the power of flight, and their 
relations to the Carinata? may be expressed diagrammatically as 
follows : — 




The power of flight may be supposed* to have been acquired at the 
point x. 

2. The earliest birds were able to fly : from them were descended 
(a) the Carinate in which the power of flight was retained, and (b) 
the Ratitffi in which it was lost in the course of evolution, the 
assumption of a purely cursorial mode of life being accompanied by 
degeneration of the wings and other parts connected with the 
function of flight. This view is illustrated by the following diagram, 
x again representing the point at which aerial progression began : — 



3. The third hypothesis is a modification of the second. It also 
supposes that the earliest birds could fly and that the Eatitse arose 
from these, their organs of flight becoming degenerate ; but instead 
of supposing a single group to arise in this way and afterwards, by 
divergence of characters, to split up into the various forms of Ratitaj 
now existing, it assumes that each of these groups arose separately 
from primitive flying birds. Thus while hypotheses (1) and (2) 
ascribe a single or monophyletic origin to the Katite, hypothesis (3) 
imagines them to have had a multiple or polyphyletic origin. The 
following diagram — taken from Fiirbringer's elaborate " Stammbaum," 
— expresses this theory, x having the same significance as before : — 






I propose to give a brief account of the salient points in the 
development of the Kiwi, pointing out their bearing upon the three 
theories just enuntiated. 

In the earliest stages, as might have been expected, there is 
little of importance to record, the resemblance to ordinary birds being 
very close. One interesting point must, however, be mentioned, 
although it has no bearing upon the origin of birds. Tn a stage 
corresponding with a chick of about the sixth day of incubation there 
is a distinct operculum or gill-cover extending back from the hyoid 
arch over the 2nd and 3rd visceral clefts. As far as I am aware no 
such structure has been found in any vertebrate animal above the 

The feathers first make their appearance when the embryo is about 
60 mm. long and corresponds in its general characters with a chick of 
the 8th-9th day. They do not appear evenly all over the body, but as 
a comparatively narrow tract along the middle of the back and. after- 
wards spreading on to the thighs. Later a tract appears on each 
side of the belly and smaller tracts on the wings, all being separated 
by well marked featherless spaces. Even in the adult the most 
important of these spaces can be traced. 

In the adult there is a loose fold of skin on the anterior border 
of the wing between the upper arm and the fore- arm, and a similar 
fold on its posterior aspect between the upper arm and the body. 
These obviously correspond to the alar membrane so characteristic of 
ordinary birds. Moreover the adult has a well-marked series of 
wing-quills covered by regularly arranged upper coverts. 

These facts certainly seem to indicate that the ancestors of 
the Kiwi had the interrupted pterylosis or feather-arrangement 
characteristic of CarinatEe, and that their fore-limbs were true wings. 

A minor circumstance which appears to point to the same 
conclusion is the fact that a sleeping Kiwi assumes precisely the 
same attitude as an ordinary carinate bird, the head being thrust 
under the side feathers between the body and the upwardly-directed 

The development of the wing and of the parts in connection 
with it is also interesting. At an early stage the fore-limb ends in a 
three-toed paw, the digits represented being the 1st, 2nd and 3rd : 
later on the 1st and 3rd digits cease to grow and the fore -limb 
assumes the form of an ordinary bird's wing with a greatly elongated 
second digit and small first and third digits. Still later the 1st and 
3rd digits disappear as distinct structures and the wing becomes the 
small one-fingered organ characteristic of the adult. 

The skeleton of the wing shows similar changes : at first there 
are five distinct carpals and three metacarpals. As growth goes on 
the carpals of the lower or distal row unite with the 2nd and 3rd 
metacarpals, exactly as in existing birds. The upper or proximal 
carpals may either unite with the carpo-metacarpus thus formed or 


may remain distinct. All these facts seem to indicate that the fore- 
limb of Apteryx has passed through a stage in which it was a true 

The sternum or breast-bone of ordinary birds is a large keeled 
bone, placed almost horizontally : that of the Kiwi is flat and has a 
vertical position. In a young embryo, however, the cartilage from 
which the breast-bone arises is almost horizontal, and in three adult 
specimens I have found a low median ridge, obviously the vestige of 
a keel. 

In Carinatre the coracoid takes an oblique position while in 
Apteryx it is vertical : in an embryo shortly before the appearance 
of the feathers the coracoid is obliquely placed, the vertical position 
being gradually assumed at the same time as that of the sternum. 

Moreover there are distinct vestiges even in the adult of the 
acromion, acrocoracoid, and procoracoid processes, and the coraco- 
scapular angle sometimes sinks as low as 122°, although it may rise 
to 150°. As in some of the Carinatrc this angle is as much as 106°, 
the gap between the two groups becomes comparatively slight. 

Further evidence in the same direction is furnished by the 
muscles of flight. The elevator of the wing (subclavius) arises from 
the coracoid and passes over the acrocoracoid process to reach the 
dorsal aspect of the humerus exactly as in Carinata\ 

The most characteristic feature in the brain of birds is the 
position of the optic lobes which lie, not on the dorsal surface as in 
other Vertebrata, but one on each side. In Apteryx, in accordance 
with the small size of the eyes, the optic lobes are greatly reduced 
in size and are situated on the base of the brain. It is interesting to 
find that in young embryos these lobes are situated on the upper 
surface and in close contact with one another, exactly as in a reptile : 
at about the time when the feathers appear they separate from one 
another and pass one to each side of the brain, precisely as in 
ordinary birds : finally as the end of incubation is approached they 
diminish immensely in proportional size and come to lie on the under 

It has been mentioned that the Kiwi is the only bird in which 
the eye is devoid of a pecten. This peculiarity only applies in 
strictness to the adult : in advanced embryos a small but distinct 
pecten is present. 

The vertebral column and the hind limb of Apteryx are those of 
a perfectly typical bird — more typical indeed than those of many 
Carinata>, for instance the Penguins. The pelvis is also strictly avian 
although simpler than that of most birds. 

So far, then, the structure and development of Apteryx seem to 
indicate that the ancestors of this extraordinary member of the class 
were typical flying birds, having interrupted plumage, a keeled 
sternum placed horizontally, a shoulder girdle of the usual avian 


character, and true wings, I.e. fore limbs in which the hand has 
only three digits, the distal carpals are fused with the metacarpals, 
and the air-resisting surface is furnished by regularly arranged 

It still remains to say something about the structure of the skull, 
which in certain respects is quite unique, presenting characters met 
with in no other bird. 

In the skull of any bird except the Kiwi we notice three chief 
regions ; the rounded brain case behind, the narrow pointed beak in 
front, and between these the orbital region consisting of the two 
immense eye-sockets separated from one another by a vertical plate 
of bone called the inter-orbital septum. This corresponds to the 
bone of the mammalian skull known as the pre-sphenoid, and its 
peculiar character in the bird is due to the enormously developed 
eyes encroaching upon surrounding parts and squeezing the inter- 
vening portion of the skull into a flat plate. In the hinder portion of 
the beak are contained thin scroll-like bones, the turbinals, very much 
smaller than the corresponding bones in the skull of a mammal and 
lying altogether in front of the eyes. In the entire head they are 
covered by delicate mucous membrane to which the olfactory nerve is 
distributed and therefore constitute the organ of smell. Lastly the 
external nostrils are situated at a considerable distance from the 
pointed end of the beak. 

In the Kiwi Wo striking changes have taken place simulta- 
neously. The eyes, undergoing a gradual diminution in size, have 
retreated from the median plane, a considerable space being left 
between them and the presphenoid. At the same time the tui'binals 
have enlarged immensely, and, extending backwards, have filled 
up the space between the presphenoid and the eyes, actually 
reaching as far back as the posterior boundary of the latter. 
Thus the skull of Apteryx differs from that of all other birds, firstly 
in the small size of the orbits, and secondly in having those cavities 
separated from one another not by a thin inter-orbital septum, but 
by a spongy mass of bone formed by the posterior portion of the 

The turbinals are as complete as those of a dog, and are divisible 
into two regions, a hinder olfactory region covered by a delicate single 
layer of epithelium and supplied by the olfactory nerve, and an 
anterior respiratory region covered by a many-layered horny 
epithelium and supplied by the fifth nerve. Up to the middle of 
incubation the whole of the respiratory region of the nasal chamber 
is filled up by a solid mass of epithelial cells so that there is no 
passage to the exterior by the nostrils. 

In early embryos the form of the head and the position of the 
nostrils is normal, but soon after an undoubted bird-form is assumed 
the nostrils are found to have their final position at the end of the 
beak. By this time the turbinals are already large but do not extend 
so far back as in the adult. 


As in Carinatce the quadrate in its earliest stages articulates 
■with the skull by a single head, but in the advanced embryo the 
articulation becomes distinctly double, one facet coming in contact 
■with a cartilaginous socket furnished by the prootic, another by a 
perfectly distinct socket furnished jointly by the alisphenoid and the 
squamosal. The single-headed character of the quadrate is thus 
shown to be a secondary and not a primitive character. Even in the 
adult the head shows an indistinct separation into two surfaces. 

(To be continued. J 

SPARROW ( Passer domesticusj IN NEW ZEALAND.* 

BY T. W KIRK, F.R.M, & L.SS., (Load.) 

The author stated that be had been for some years collecting 
evidence on the sparrow question in New Zealand. He divided the 
subject into various sections, but remarked that, as there was not yet 
sufficient reliable evidence to hand, on which to form an unbiassed judg- 
ment, as to the question of whether the sparrow did more good than 
harm, he would confine himself to the breeding habits of Passer domes- 
tlcus in New Zealand; leaving for a future occasion the complete history 
of the sparrow in this country, which he hoped ere long to submit. He 
then went on to say that the statements on the breeding habits, though 
brief, are the result of numerous enquiries, and of lengthened personal 
observations. It is hoped that their publication may induce other 
persons who have made reliable notes, to help, by recording their obser- 
vations and experience. " I shall assume, for the purposes of the 
calculation I am about to make, that no extensive action is taken by 
man for the destruction of his small opponent, if such he is to be called, 
and as the natural enemies in this country are hardly worth mentioning, 
we will allow only for accidental and natural deaths. Speaking of the 
natural enemies, reminds me of an incident I once noted between 
Featherston and Martinborough, showing to what lengths the daring 
and cool impudence of the sparrow will sometimes go. Hearing a most 
unusual noise, as though all the small birds in the country had joined 
in one grand quarrel, I looked up and saw a large hawk (E. gouldi, a 
carrion feeder) being buffeted by a flock of sparrows, I should say 
several hundreds ; they kept dashing at him in scores, and from all 
points at once. The unfortunate hawk was quite powerless, indeed he 
seemed to have no heart left, for he did not attempt to retaliate, and his 
defence was of the feeblest ; at last, approaching some scrub, he made a 
rush, indicative of a forlorn hope, gained the shelter, and there remained. 
I watched for fully half an hour, but he did not re-appear. The spar- 
rows congregated in groups about the bushes, keeping up a constant 

* Abstract of a paper read at the meeting of the Wellington Philosophical Society, on 

2nd July last. 


chattering and noise, evidently on the lookout for the enemy, and con- 
gratulating themselves upon having secured a victory. I have heard of 
sparrows attacking and driving away pigeons and other birds, but do not 
remember any record of their daring to attack a hawk. In this part of 
the Colony the breeding season of the sparrow begins in spring, and 
ends late in the autumn. The first broods appear in September, and 
the last in April. I have examined a great many nests, but never 
found less than five eggs under a sitting bird, more often six, and 
frequently seven. These are usually all laid in one week. Incubation 
occupies thirteen days. The young are fed in the nest for eight or nine 
days. They then return to the nest for two or three nights, after which 
they have to feed and lodge themselves, sometimes assisted by the male 
bird. In five instances fresh eggs were found in the nest, along with 
partly-fledged young. Both parent birds work in feeding the young till 
they leave the nest, and at first 1 was much j^uzzled to account for the 
fact that the second laying of eggs was not spoiled during the absence 
of the mother. From my observation I am convinced that the chief 
portion of the work of incubation, that is, after the first brood is 
hatched, is thrown on the young birds; for it must be apparent that the 
heat arising from the crowding of five or six young birds into a nest 
would be sufficient to cause incubation. So that by the time the young 
birds are finally turned out, the earlier laid of the next batch are within 
a few days of issuing from the shells. Therefore the mother is confined 
to the nest for little more than half the time to hatch the first brood of 
the season. Then after a very few days the process is again repeated. 
This does not occur in every nest, but it is a very important item to be 
noted when considering the "rate of increase." Moi - eover, in one 
instance, at least, the young birds belonging to the first brood, raised in 
September, were themselves breeding at the end of March. I can speak 
positively, as in the hope of proving whether the birds of one brood 
mated among themselves, I fastened a bit of red stuff round the leg of 
each. The only one I saw after they were turned out by their parents 
was a hen, which had mated with a male from another brood, built a 
nest close to her old home, and actually reared a brood of her own at 
the same time as her mother was closing her arduous duties for the 
season. From two nests I was able to prove that seven broods issued 
the year before last, but for the purposes of the calculation I am about 
to make, we will take it that the average is five broods of six each. 
This is below the mark. "We then allow one-third of the annual 
increase for deaths. . Here are the results ": — 

Mr. Kirk then read his calculations, of which the following is a 
summary. Starting with one pah - , Ave shall have — 

At end of First Year (allowing for deaths one-third) 1 1 pairs. 

„ „ Second „ „ „ „ 121 „ 

„ „ Third „ „ „ ., 1,331 „ 

„ „ Fourth ., „ ,, „ 14,641 „ 

„ „ Fifth „ „ „ „ ,,146,051 „ 

He concluded as follows : — 

"This does not take into account those early broods which are them- 
selves breeding ; nor does it allow more than five broods a year, while 


six and even seven are of common occurrence. Further, the clutches of 
eggs often number more than six : so that we started on a low basis, 
and the allowance of one-third is, I think, more than ample." The 
following discussion ensued : — 

Mr. Travers said that Mr. Kirk's views regarding the food of the 
sparrow did not agree with naturalists hi other countries. His expe- 
rience led him to believe that their principal food was insects. The 
Cicada' especially are caught in hundreds by them. It would be 
difficult to ascertain, as suggested, by dissection, whether they contained 
insect food or grain. If the increase is anything like what Mr. Kirk 
contends, the air would be full of these birds. The increase really 
depends on the amount of food they can get. That these birds are 
useful to the agriculturist is beyond question. The increase in crops 
is in proportion to the spread of the sparrow. The insects which used 
to swarm in the plains in the south have now almost disappeared, owing 
to the sparrow, and the grain has increased. The caterpillars, once so 
numerous, are disappearing from the same cause. In Hungary they 
made war against the sparrows ; but after a time they had to get them 
back again, so that they might protect the wheat from the insects. The 
sparrow was also a good scavenger. It was said that the sparrow 
destroyed the grape, but it turned out to be the Zosterops, or the Minah. 
The hawk mentioned as being attacked by sparrows is the kind that 
never touches sparrows. He was an ardent admirer of the sparrow, 
and he did not think we should grudge the small amount of grain they 
consumed, when they were in other ways so useful. 

Sir Walter Bgller said he was prepared to accept his full share 
of the responsibility for the introduction of the sparrow, by the Wau- 
ganui Acclimatisation Society in 1866. While fully admitting and 
deploring the depredations committed by this bird on the settlers' crops 
at certain seasons of the year, he considered that the sparrow was an 
insectivorous bird in the strictest sense ; and believing, as he did, that 
the balance of evidence was strongly in its favour, he never lost an 
opportunity, in public or in private, of putting in a plea for poor perse- 
cuted Passer domesticus. He declared that during the breeding season 
the sparrow was the farmer's best friend, for the young broods were 
supplied entirely on insect food. Mr. Kirk's observations on the 
fecundity of this bird in New Zealand, would give some idea of the 
great service he performed. The sparrow had also proved instrumental 
in exterminating the variegated Scotch thistle, which at one time 
threatened to overrun this country, by feeding on (he seeds, and 
preventing their dissemination. 

Mr. Denton said that it was almost impossible to ikeep sparrows 
entirely alive on grain ; they must have insects. 

Mr. Hudson remarked that of course the great disappearance in 
insect-life here would in some measure be accounted for by the clearing 
of the bush, and draining of the swampy land ; no doubt the sparrow 
had done his share. He did not think it much advantage to have the 
C'icadce destroyed, for they did no harm. 


Mr. Travers differed from Mr. Hudson ; the Cicxdce damaged the 
introduced trees considerably, and often so much as to cause them to 
die altogether. 

Mr. Richardson pointed out that numbers of sparrows were often 
destroyed by strong gales of wind and rain. 

Mr. Kirk, in reply, said that most of the discussion was on points 
which had not been raised in his paper ; indeed, lie had specially 
mentioned that there was not yet to hand sufficient reliable evidence 
on which to found an impartial judgment as to whether the sparrow 
was more beneficial than hurtful to agriculture and horticulture. As, 
however, the question had been introduced, he would state that when 
he entered upon this investigation he was as staunch a supporter of the 
sparrow as Mr. Travers or Sir Walter Buller. He was afraid, however, 
that he should now have to modify liis Adews very much. There could 
be no doubt that the sparrow ate many thousands of insects, and did a 
vast amount of good. The point to be settled was, Did he exact more 
grain, fruit, &c, in payment for those services than those services were 
worth 1 He was intimately acquainted with M. Michelet's book, " The 
Bird," referred to by Mr. Travers, but he must draw attention to the 
fact that the author's remarks did not apply to New Zealand, where the 
rate of increase of the sparrow was phenomenal. He was of course 
awai-e that the large hawk mentioned did not feed on living birds, and 
was therefore the more surprised that the sparrows should venture to 
attack such a powerful opponent. Exception had been taken to his 
calculations, and Mr. Travers stated that at the rate mentioned the air 
would be " full of sparrows." He had already said that the calculation 
whs based upon the assumption that no active agencies were employed 
by man for the destruction of the sparrow; but we all knew that 
poisoning on a large scale was indulged in. He was convinced that the 
one-third of the annual increase was ample to allow for accidental and 
natural deaths He might mention that the balance of evidence so far 
was against the sparrow. Miss Ormerod, Consulting Entomologist to 
the Royal Agricultural Society, a most ardent champion of the sparrow, 
had investigated the question in England, and had been obliged to 
abandon his cause. Professor Riley, Entomologist, and Messrs. 
Hartman and Barrons, Ornithologists of the U. S. Department of 
Agriculture, had been compelled to cast their votes against the "cussed 
little Britisher." If the sparrow had been condemned in England, 
where, according to Sir Walter Buller, it usually reared but two broods 
a year, what would be the result in this country, where the output 
from a single nest was five, six, and even seven broods a season 1 The 
sparrow did good work by eating the seeds of the large thistle, but the 
goldfinch and green linnet indulged even more in that habit. In 
conclusion, he would say that he for one would be very sorry to see the 
sparrow exterminated ; but he was convinced some systematic steps 
would have to be taken to restrict the increase. The sparrow was like 
alcoholic liquor : good in moderation, but decidedly harmful in excess. 



Some important additions have been made to the Avifauna of New 
Zealand during the last year. At a meeting of the Wellington Philo- 
sophical Society, held on the 2nd July last, Sir Walter Buller exhibited 
a huge Kiwi from Stewart's Island, which he referred to Apteryx 
maxima of M. Jules Verreaux (Bonap. Comp. Rend. Acad. Sc, xliii., 
p. 841). Two of the largest specimens of Apteryx australis (male and 
female) were on the table for comparison ; and he pointed out that 
this new bird had a bill fully an inch and a half longer, with propor- 
tionately robust feet ; and that the claws, instead of being long and 
sharp pointed as in Apteryx australis, were short, broad, and blunt at 
the tip. He also pointed out other distinguishing peculiarities in the 
plumage. Referring to the history of this species, he said that the 
well-known French naturalist named had, as far back as 1856, distin- 
guished it from the others on what appeared at the time to be very 
insufficient data ; and a year or two later the government of New 
Zealand published in the Gazette a report by Drs. Sclater and Hoch- 
stetter, "On our present knowledge of the species of Apteryx" in 
which special attention was called to Jules Verreaux' s new form, and 
the colonists invited to look for it. When, in 1871, Professor Hutton 
published his " Catalogue of New Zealand Birds," he referred the 
large Grey Kiwi of the South Island {Apteryx haasti) to Apteryx maxima. 
But Sir Walter Buller himself, in his first edition of " The Birds of 
New Zealand," dissented from this view, expressing himself as 
follows : — " The evidence, as far as it goes, would seem to indicate the 
existence of a much larger species of Kiwi than any of the foregoing 
■ — in fact, a bird equalling in size a full-grown turkey. For this 
reason I have considered it safer to retain Apteryx haasti as a recog- 
nised species, and to leave the further elucidation of the question to 
the zeal and enterprise of future explorers ia the land of the Apteryx." 
Seventeen years had elapsed since this was written, and at length the 
veritable Apteryx maxima had turned up in Stewart's Island, the 
specimen now before the meeting being undoubtedly the only example 
known in any public or private collection. Sir Walter Buller then 
proceeded to give an interesting account of the geographical distribu- 
tion of the various species of Apteryx, and the circumstances of their 
development. Apteryx bulleri is confined to the North Island, Apteryx 
australis to the South Island, and Apteryx maxima to Stewart's Island; 
whilst Apteryx oweni, inhabiting the colder regions of the South, has 
also been found on the snow-line to the north of Cook's Strait. All 
these species have doubtless sprung from a common parent, and the 
insular separation has existed for a sufficiently long period of time to 
admit of the development of distinct species under the ordinary laws 
of evolution. Whilst on this subject, Sir Walter Buller said he would 
take occasion to refer to some remarks made by a former President 
when Mr. R. B. Sharpe's paper was read, changing the name of the 
North Island bird from Apteryx mantelli to Apteryx bulleri. In the 
discussion which the President's remarks evoked, Mr. Maskell and 
others appeared to reproach him (Sir Walter) with having, as it were, 
filched the name from Mr. Mantell, who had so long enjoyed it. As 


a matter of fact, be (the speaker) had nothing to do with the change 
of name, beyond submitting his series of specimens to Mr. Sbarpe's 
critical judgment ; and he was afterwards merely the " passive 
bucket 'in communicating Mr. Sbarpe's paper to the Society. In 
selecting the speaker's name to distinguish the species, Mr. Sharpe 
only gave effect to a suggestion made by Dr. Otto Finsch, of Bremen, 
many years before. Agreeing, as he did, in the technical accuracy of 
Mr. Sbarpe's conclusions, he (Sir Walter Buller) had no alternative 
but to adopt the proposed new name. Asa rule, however, his own 
tendencies were conservative, and throughout his work he had, in 
regard to nomenclature, observed as far as possible the rule of "quieta 
-non movere." For example, he bad declined to follow Dr. Meyer, of 
Dresden, in substituting the name of Notomis hochstetteri for Notomis 
mantelli, because he did not consider that the differences shown to 
exist between the fossil and the recent birds were sufficient to warrant 
the change. On the other hand, he had not hesitated to expunge 
from the list of species String ops greyi (so named by Mr. G. B. Grey 
in compliment to Sir George Grey) as soon as he had satisfied himself 
that it was a mere variety of the common Stringops habrojrtilus. He 
was very glad however, of the opportunity afterwards of re-connecting 
Sir George Grey's name with the New Zealand Avifauna by dedicating 
to him a new form of Ocydromv.s. Sir Walter Buller concluded his 
remarks by saying that in such matters as this, people should not be 
thin-skinned, for a scientist should have nothing before him but the 
elucidation of truth, and in the fixing or altering of names there can 
no escape from the accepted rules of zoological nomenclature. 

An active discussion, led off by Mr. Maskell, then followed as to 
the value of characters now generally accepted by naturalists in the 
establishment of species. 

Sir Walter Buller, in reply, said that the only importance he 
attached to systematic classification was as an aid to memory in the 
study of the natural objects themselves. Birds, like other animals, 
resolved themselves into natural groups, and could be most con- 
veniently studied in tbat manner. The discrimination of genera and 
species was, after all, empiric, and often very arbitary. Nothing was 
easier than to raise the gucestio vexata, What constitutes the difference 
between a species and a permanent variety ? On no point probably 
were naturalists so much divided — some carrying their discrimination 
of forms to an extreme, others erring in an opposite direction. In 
fact most systematists might be divided into two classes — " lumpers " 
and " splitters." The thing was to hit the happy mean. There was 
much truth in what Mr. Maskell had said, and no doubt modifications 
of structure were of the first importance in the discrimination of 
species ; but, as to nomenclature, it seemed to him that simplicity 
was the thing of all others to be desired. To adopt the system more 
or less in use among ornithologists of making sub-species or varieties 
was to his mind very objectionable, because it had the effect of 
encumbering the literature with names. For example, Apteryx 
hulleri, as it is now called, appeared in Dr. Finsch's list as Apteryx 
australis variety mantelli. According to the generally-accepted view 
among English systematists, the amount of variation necessary to 
constitute a species is not of much importance, and may be left to 


individual opinion, so long as it is persistent or constant. For his 
own part, lie was quite indifferent whether the petrel now exhibited, 
and which he had named GEstrelata affinis, was regarded as a distinct 
species or a permanent race, so long as the difference of character 
was recognised. Admitting the distinction, it was merely a question 
of convenience with systematists whether to call it by a distinctive 
name, or to designate it " Species A, variety B." Dr. Finsch 
considered that this, and (Estrelata mollis, of which specimens were 
on the table for comparison, were varieties of one and the same 
species. But Mr. Osbert Salvia, our great authority on Petrels, had 
unhesitatingly pronounced them distinct species. They, belonged, 
however, to the same natural group, and were closely allied. 
Although easily discriminated now, no naturalist of the present 
day would deny that they had originally sprung from a common 
parent. This followed of necessity from an acceptance of the theory 
of evolution. As to the alleged worthlessness of colour as a criterion 
for discriminating species, he could not agree with Mr. Maskell, 
because our whole experience was opposed to such an argument. 
The cases put forward by that gentleman were not in point. For 
example, the condition of the albino Tui exhibited that evening was 
due to an accidental absence of the colouring pigment in the feathers. 
It was merely a lasus naturae, or a freak of nature. However many 
examples of this kind might be met with, no naturalist of any 
experience would think of creating a new species out of such material. 
So in the case of individual peculiarities of plumage mentioned by 
him. No one would pretend that these were of specific value. Some 
birds, for example the red grouse (or brown ptarmigan), one of the 
commonest birds of Great Britain, is so variable in color that scarcely 
two males can be found with precisely the same markings, and this is 
likewise the case with the common albatross and some other sea 
birds. This variability of plumage becomes, then, a character of the 
species. But if you meet with, say, two forms of sea-gull, one having 
a black head and the other a white head, breeding true, and 
presenting this constant character, an ornithologist would, as a matter 
of course, treat them as distinct species, although he might not be 
able to discover any other points of difference. On the other hand 
there is a phase of colouring known as dimorphism, which obtains 
among some species] of sea-birds — some individuals being dark and 
others white in one and the same species. Other birds, again, pass 
through several distinct phases of plumage in their progress from 
youth to maturity, These adolescent states, and the known instances 
of dimorphic colouration, do not by any means affect the argument 
that colour is an important external character in the determination of 
species. On the main question, however, of manifest structural or 
organic difference as the surest guide in the differentiation, Sir 
Walter Buller said that he quite agreed with Mr. Maskell. He 
would remind the meeting that the study of birds had often to be 
prosecuted with nothing before the investigat n - but skin and feathers, 
and that the systematist could only make the most of the materials 
before him. He did not believe that it would be possible to attain 
perfection in classification till the internal characters and anatomy of 
everj r known bird had been as completely examined and illustrated as 
that of the common rock dove (Col umbo, livia) had been by the late 
Professor Macgillivray. 




Among the numerous interesting- and remarkable cases of 
naturalisation, or, as it is somewhat improperly called, acclimatisation 
in this colony, none surpasses in its interest and far-reaching results 
that of the humble-bee. For many years the agriculturists, espe- 
cially of the South island, had been under the necessity of annually 
importing all the supplies of Red Clover seed which they required, so 
to obviate the continually recurring expense and to ensure the pro- 
duction of a valuable seed within the colony, the Canterbury Acclima- 
tisation Society was induced to import humble-bees. With the steps 
taken to accomplish this object, I have not to do at present, though a 
brief history of this part of the undertaking would, no doubt, be 

At the very outset, however, a mistake seems to have been made, 
which shows how much in the dark many of those are who guide the 
community in acclimatisation matters, and how largely chance often 
bulks in the final results of such experiments. Eed Clover (Trifolium 
2)ratense) differs from White Clover {T: repens) and many other papi- 
lionaceous flowers in having its nectar secreted at the base of a tube 
9 to 10 mm. (about fths. of an inch) long, formed by the cohesion of 
the nine inferior stamens with each other and with the claws of the 
petals. Instead, therefore, of an insect being able to thrust its trunk 
down to the nectary by the two small openings which lie, one on each 
side of the superior stamens, as in White Clover, it must insert it 
directly down the staminal tube. Only in this way can the insect 
receive a dusting of pollen, and so ensure cross-fertilization of the 
flowers, without which this. species is practically sterile. "In order 
to reach the honey in this way, an insect must possess a proboscis at 
least 9 to 10 mm. long."* This fact was probably not known to any- 
one in New Zealand when the importation of humble-bees was 
decided upon. Only the fact was known that humble-bees were the 
principal agents in fertilizing red clover, and in sending for these 
insects, the species which is probably the most abundant in England, 
viz., Bombus terrestris, was selected. According to Midler, who is the 
best authority on the subject, B. terrestris does not enter the flowers of 
red clover in a legitimate way and so bring about cross-fertilization, 
but always makes a hole near the base of the flower and sucks the 
nectar through this. Its trunk is not more than from 7 to 9 mm. 
long, so that only the largest females could reach the base of the 
flower. On the other hand, it is the case in Germany at least, that 
no less than twelve other species of Bombus or humble-bees having 
trunks varying from 10 to 15 mm. in length, legitimately visit and 
fertilize the red clover. Of course the pollen and stigma of this 
flower are accessible to all insects which are heavy enough to press 
down the keel, and if bees visit the flowers for pollen only they will 
no doubt bring about cross-fertilisation. This may account for an 

*"The Fertilisation of Flowers," by Prof. Hermann Miiller. 


interesting example given me by Mr. Wm. Martin, of Fairfield, near 
Dunedin, who informs me that as far back as 1858 he obtained a 
large quantity of very fine seed off a small patch of red clover which 
he had under cultivation. 

I have never myself observed our introduced humble-bee biting 
the tubes of red clover, nor have enquiries to observers throughout 
Canterbury and Otago elicited any information, beyond the fact that 
the flowers always seem to be visited in a legitimate manner. And it 
is a further interesting fact, that though at first sight the wrong 
species of insect appears to have been introduced, yet the result 
sought to be attained by its introduction has been secured. Yet it 
would not have been at all remarkable, if the experiment had resulted 
in failure as far at least as red clover is concerned, were it not that 
under altered conditions, insects, like all other organisms, appear to 
have marvellous powers of adaptation. 

In March, 1885, the Otago Acclimatisation Society liberated 93 
females (queens) of Bombus terrestris in the neighbourhood of Christ- 
church. They appear to have established themselves at once and 
increased rapidly. In January, 1886, two were seen by Mr. J. D. 
Enys at Castle Hill on the West Coast road, and early in 1887 they 
were reported from Kaikoura in the North, and Timaru in the South, 
while by the autumn of the same year they had become established 
in the Oamaru district. Towards the very end of the same year they 
had spread up the Waitaki basin, through the Lindis pass and were 
^observed on the Hawea flats. In Dunedin they appeared quite 
suddenly in the second week of February, 1888, and were almost 
simultaneously reported from Waihola, 30 miles south-west. In 
November,- 1889, they were first recorded from the head of Lake 
Wakatipu, and in the beginning of 1890 were observed in the neigh- 
bourhood of Invercargill. I have no accurate record of their spread 
in the North Island. It may be considered certain that Cook's Strait 
would have proved an insurmountable natural barrier, but specimens 
have been repeatedly liberated within the last two or three years in 
the North Island. It seems doubtful, according to Mr. G. V. Hudson, 
whether they have yet become established. I have, however, records 
of their occurrence, both from Auckland and Wellington, and would 
be glad to have further information on this point. 

Professor Hutton informs me that occasionally he has seen 
queen bees which were quite black, that is without .the white and 
orange bands so characteristic of Bombus terrestris. It will be 
interesting to leaim whether this variety has been observed elsewhere 
than in Christchurch. 

One of the most interesting results of the introduction of foreign 
species of plants or animals into a new country, is that it becomes 
possible to watch and place upon record every change which the 
organism undergoes. As soon as humble-bees appeared in this 
neighbourhood, I resolved to devote a good deal of attention to them, 
and have already observed several details concerniug their life-history, 
which show, it seems to me, that they may be expected to undergo 
considerable change in their habits, and may prove in time to be a 
not un-mixed blessing. 


The first point to be noticed about them is that here the bees 
have few or no enemies except small boys, and perhaps bee-keepers. 
In their native habitats they have to contend against very numerous 
enemies, and most readers will remember Darwin's famous remarks* 
about humble-bees and field-mice : — " The number of humble-bees 
in any district depends in a great measure on the number of field- 
mice, which destroy their combs and nests ; and Col. Newman, who 
has long attended to the habits of humble-bees, believes that ' more 
than two-thirds of them are thus destroyed over all England.' Now 
the number of mice is largely dependent, as every one knows, on the 
number of cats ; and Col. Newman says, ' Near villages and small 
towns I have found the nests of humble-bees more numerous than 
elsewhere, which I attribute to the number of cats that destroy the 
mice.' Hence it is quite credible that the presence of a feline 
animal in large numbers in a district might determine, through the 
intervention first of mice and then of bees, the frequency of certain 
flowers in that district." Mice are by no means abundant in the 
open country in New Zealand, at least in those parts where rabbits 
and introduced small birds have become a pest, and where, 
consequently, cats are encouraged. Nor can I find that there are 
any other enemies of the bees here that are at all conspicuous. Some 
of the insects are, however, extraordinarily infested by mites, which 
cover parts of the body — especially the bare posterior portion of the 
thorax — to such an extent as to completely hide the integument. 
These mites were no doubt introduced originally with the first bees, 
but I cannot say whether they are a greater pest here than in the 
Old Country. 

A second remarkable point in connection with the life of the 
humble-bees is, that in many parts of the Colony they do not appear 
to hibernate at all. In England those insects which survive the 
winter appear about April, and immediately proceed to seek out 
suitable quarters for the establishment of their homes. Mr. Hudson 
tells me that the neuters do not appear until June. 

In this part of the colony the past winter was extremely mild, and 
the hibernation of the bees was very short. I saw them nearly daily 
on various flowers right through the summer and autumn up till 5th 
June. On the following day the weather became suddenly cold with 
frost at night, and the humble-bees disappeared until August 13th, 
when they were again seen. For nearly a month afterwards the 
weather remained fine, and night frosts were frequent, yet for a few 
hours in the hottest part of the day the bees were seen regularly. 
Mr. James Gilmore of Goodwood, about 30 miles North of Dunedin, 
states that he saw them right through the winter, except in rainy 
weather. In the middle of July, when the nights and mornings 
were very frosty, the bees came out in the middle of the day if the 
sun was shining. If this is so in this comparatively cold part of the 
colony, we may expect that in those parts where frost is unknown no 
hibernation will take place at all. It is worthy of note, however, that 
only large females survive the winter. This season the first small 
bees of the new brood were seen by me on 22nd November. 

'Origin of Specie?," 6th Kdit., p. 57. 


The rate of increase of the humble-bee has been so great in this 
colony, that the question has arisen in my mind as to whether they 
will not become as serious a nuisance as far as honey is concerned, as 
the rabbit has proved to the farmer and squatter. This may seem to 
be an improbability to many persons who have never seriously con- 
sidered the matter, especially as humble-bees do not visit many of the 
flowers which supply nectar to the hive-bee. But the fact remains 
that in those districts where the former have been very abundant the 
supply of honey has enormously diminished during the last two 
seasons, and many skilled bee-keepers are beginning to attribute a 
considerable share at least of this falling off to the humble-bees. To 
see how far these insects are adapting themselves to new flowers, I 
have for a considerable time past kept a record of the flowers which 
they visit, and those which they leave alone. I have noticed them on 
many species of introduced plants which they never appear to visit in 
Europe, and it will be interesting to note whether with increased 
numbers they are extending their search for nectar to flowers at 
present neglected by them. Two facts have particularly struck me 
in this connection. One is that they seldom visit white flowers ; I 
know only about half-a-dozen altogether, though on some of these, 
like Plums, Cherries and Pears they are to be found very abundantly. 
The other is that with two exceptions I have never heard of them 
visiting the flowers of indigenous plants. The exceptions are Fuchsia 
excorticata which they appear frequently to visit, and the Ngaio 
(Myoporum Icetum) on which they have been seen by Mr. A. S. 
Fleming, of Palmerston S.* 

Another curious fact about them is that in one district they will 
absolutely neglect flowers which they frequent in another part. 
Many observers credit certain flowers with intoxicating the bees, but 
as the flowers recorded by one are not so credited by others, the 
question of so-called intoxication must be looked upon as quite 
unsettled, and is worthy of investigation, Again, in one part the 
bees pierce the tubes of certain flowers which, in another neighbour- 
hood, sometimes only three or four miles away, they visit legitimately. 
I have thought it worth while here to give a complete list of the 
flowers — all introduced but the above two — on which I have observed 
humble-bees, or have trustworthy records of their visits. Under the 
various flowers I have made remarks which occur to me as bearing on 
the question. Such a minute attention to details may appear to 
some unnecessary, but it must be remembered that what may prove 
to be a biological problem of great ultimate interest is here being 
worked out before our eyes, and as we have the commencement of it 
within our observation now, it would be a mistake to allow any detail 
however apparently insignificant to escape attention. To facilitate 
reference I have arranged the flowers noted here according to their 
natural orders. 

Anemone — single red, blue and parti-coloured hybrids; occa- 
sionally visited. 

Delphinium — blue hybrids, and also on Annual Larkspurs. 
Aquilegia — hybrids. I have seen them on Columbines of 

* Within the last day or two (Dec. 26th) I have seen small bees on Veronica clliptica. 


various colours, except white. Frequently the tubes of 
these flowers are punctured by the bees. 


Berberis (Mahoniri) Darioinii. Often visited. 


Pqpaver. All sorts of single poppies are greatly visited by 
humble-bees; one correspondent considers that they become 
intoxicated by the nectar "of these flowers. I have never 
myself observed this effect. 


Dielytra spectabilis. These flowers are great favourites, but 
as the nectar cannot be reached legitimately, the bees light 
on the outside of the keeled sepals and puncture them near 
the base. In the neighbourhood of Dunedin this spring it 
was almost impossible to get a spray of Dielytra which had 
not been more or less disfigured by humble-bees. 


Cabbage flowers (Brassica ohracea) are frequented by 
numbers of bees. 

Wallflower (Cheiranthus cheiri) is also a great favourite. 
Virginian Stock (Cheiranthus^ sp.) occasionally visited. 


Reseda odorata. Mignonette is totally neglected in many 
gardens, while in others it is constantly visited. No doubt 
bees acquire tastes, and havo their individual preferences. 


Viola odorata. Violets are constantly visited in some 
gardens and aie quite neglected in others. The same 
remark applies to the Pansy ( V. tricolor and its hybrids), of 
which I have seen both white and j r ellow varieties visited, 
but not frequently. 

I have no record of a single Caryophyllaceous flower being- 
visited by humble-bees 


Hypericum sp. A. large kind of St. John's Wort in my 
garden is occasionally visited. 


Abutilon sp. Reported from Christchurch ; I have not 
observed them in Dunedin, where Abutilon is mainly a 
greenhouse plant. 


The Lime-tree (Tilia europea) when in flower attracts the 
humble-bees (as well as other insects) in great numbers. 



Scarlet Geranium {Pelargonium sp.) is occasionally visited. 
Indian Cress or Garden Nasturtium (Tropceolum majus) is 
frequently visited. 


TJlex Europceus. I have only once seen the humble-bee on 
this plant. As a correspondent remarks, "it is rather 
singular that this most plentiful of spring flowers appears to 
be neglected by humble-bees." I am even more struck with 
the fact that it is almost totally neglected by hive-bees also. 
In many parts near Dunedin there are miles of gorse hedges 
which in the months of September, October and November 
are blazing with flowers, and the air is heavy with their 
porfume, yet hardly an insect is to be seen on them. I am 
also struck with the fact that I have no record of humble- 
bees on the flowers either of Broom (Cytisus scoparius) or 
Laburnum (C. laburnum). Yet it is probable that these 
flowers are occasionally visited, as in Europe they are fre- 
quented by Bombus terrestris in great numbers. None of 
the three flowers named contain nectar, hence they would 
only be visited by bees for pollen. 

Trlfolium pratense. As has been already said the humble- 
bee was originally introduced to fertilise the Red Clover. 
In Europe the tube of the flower is almost invariably pierced 
by Bombus terrestris, but I have not a single record of this 
mode of getting the nectar from any of my New Zealand 

Trifolium repens. White clover is not mentioned by H. 
Muller among the flowers visited, but I have seen small 
neuters among our humble-bees, at work upon it. 
Sweet Pea {Lathyrus odoratus) is frequently visited. 
Faba vulgaris. Bees are very fond of the flowers of the 
Bean ; they appear always to bite a hole into the tube. 
Wistaria sinensis is a great favourite. According to Mr. 
A. D. Bell, the bees get intoxicated with the honey (?) and 
afterwards crawl helplessly on the ground below the plant. 
I have no record of humble-bees visiting the flowers of Lupins, 
which in Europe, according to Darwin, depend on these insects for 
their fertilisation. In his "Fertilisation of Flowers" (p. 188) H. 
Muller states that " Mr. Swale observed that in New Zealand culti- 
vated varieties of Lupinus were unfertile unless he released the stamens 
with a pin." On reading this, it at once occurred to me that I had 
frequently seen Lupins seeding in gardens here, and this was verified 
by my wife, Avho had frequently gathered seeds of Lupins both here 
and in Christchurch. On applying to Mr. Martin, of Fairfield, for a 
verification of this fact, he informs me that he has had about a dozen 
varieties in cultivation for the last twenty or thirty years, and never 
had any difficulty in obtaining seed from them, many sowing 

One observer records having seen a humble-bee on flowers of 
Wattle. I have never seen bees of any kind on the flowers of Acacia, 
and am inclined to think that a mistake has been made. 


Ill Europe humble-bees visit Bird's-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), 
Vetch ( Vicia sepium) and Scarlet Runner Beans (Phaseolus coccineus) ; 
I have no record of them in the colony. 


The Plum (Primus communis) and Cherry (P. cerasus) are 

visited by the bees in great numbers. 

On the Cherry-Laurel (P, lauro-cerasus), I have also seen 

them in abundance. 

The Peach (Persica vulgaris) is less frequently visited. 

On Apple-blossom (Pyrus malus) I have seldom seen them, 

though in Europe they visit the trees in great numbers. 

On the Pear (P. communis), on the other hand, Miiller 

states that the bees seldom visit the flowers, and % away 

after trying a few only. Here, I have seen the trees 

swarming with humble-bees. 

Cydonia japonica is another favourite with these insects. 

In Europe, humble-bees visit various species of Spircea or 
Meadow-sweet, and Rubus (Blackberry, Raspberry, <fcc.) ; I have no 
record of them in New Zealand. 


Escallonia macrantha occasionally visited. 

Ribes. All the species, including R. fruticosus (Flowering 

Currant), R. nigrum and R. rubrum (Black, Red, and White 

Currants) and R. grossularia (Gooseberry), are visited by 

numbers of humble-bees. 

Deutzia sp. I have observed the bees abundantly on a 

double pink Deutzia in my garden, although the ordinary 

single white species is never visited by them. 


Seclum sp. I have occasionally seen a yellow-flowered 
species visited. 

Crassula sp. The same remark applies to a pink Crassula 
in my garden. 


Eucalyptus globulus. According to observations made by 
Mr. Laing and others in Christchurch, the bees become 
intoxicated by the nectar from the flowers of the Blue Gum, 
and are frequently to be found on the ground under these 
trees in a state of complete helplessness, apparently scarcely 
able to crawl. 


Fuchsia excorticata. This species, which is a great favourite 

with the hive-bee, is occasionally visited by humble-bees. 

The latter species, however, swarm on the hybrid (South 

American) fuchsias which occur in gardens. 

Gocletia. The brightly-coloured varieties are much visited, 

but the white flowers appear to be ignored. 

(Enothera. A correspondent from Waitepeka reports bees 

as common on the flowers of the Yellow Evening-primrose. 



Mesembryanthemum sj). A brilliant crimson-flowered species 
appears to be very attractive. 


Parsley (Petroselinum sativum) is the only umbelliferous 
plant said to be visited by bumble-bees. I have not seen 
them on it myself, but am informed by a correspondent at 
Waitepeka, that they abound on it in his garden. 


Laurustinus {Viburnum tinus) and Honeysuckle {Lonicera 
sp.) are very much frequented. The common honeysuckle 
(L. perielymenum) has a very long tube, and in Europe is 
only fertilised by hawk-moths. It will be remarkable if 
Bombus terrestris is able to get the nectar from it without 
puncturing the corolla. 


Scabious (Scabiosa atropurpurea), especially the dark- 
coloured varieties are especial favourites of the humble- 


in all this enormous order, which is so abundantly represented 
both in the garden and the field, I have only observed the bees on 
nine species of flowers, none of which, however, were white. 

Sunflower (Helianthus), frequently visited. 
Dahlia, single yellow and red flowers of this genus are 
great favourites. A correspondent in Christchurch says : — 
" On these I have often noticed that the bees appear to be 
more or less stupefied, remaining on the flower in the same 
position for an hour or so, and then falling to the ground 
and buzzing about in a helpless manner when disturbed." 
I have never observed this in my own garden where the 
dahlias are abundant, and are much visited by the bees. 
Gaillardia and hybrid Marigolds {Calendula) are often 

Thistle {Garduus lanceolatus). This flower, especially in 
North Otago, affords food to myriads of bees. An observer, 
long resident near Otepopo, informs me that the difficulty 
of getting through a piece of country infested with thistles, 
has of late years been enormously increased, for timid per- 
sons, by the swarms of humble-bees which are to be found 
among the flowers. 

A Christchurch observer considers that they become intoxicated 
by the nectar of the thistle-flowers ; this has not been verified. 

Globe Artichoke {Cynara). These plants when in flower in 
my garden are frequently visited. Another great favourite 
is the Blue Corn-flower or Cornbottle {Gentaurea cyanus). 


The only ligulifloral composites on which I have seen humble- 
bees are Dandelion (Taraxacum dens-leonis), and — more sparingly — 
Cape Weed (Hypochmris radicata.) 


Canterbury Bell (Campanula media) is frequently visited. 
Lobelia erinus (hybrid). Beds of this plant proved very 
attractive to the bees last summer. 


Various cultivated Heaths (Erica) both purple and white 
are visited by the bees. I have never found or heard of 
them on long-tubed species however. 

Rhododendron. Occasionally bees visit the brilliantly- 
coloured species. 

Arbutus unedo. The flowers are often visited by humble- 
bees which, however, always appear to puncture the corolla. 


The different forms of the genus Primula cultivated in 
gardens under the names of Polyanthuses and Primroses 
are hybrids probably between P. vulgaris, P. veris, and P. 
elatior. I have found bees on both varieties, and also on 
Auriculas (P. auricula?) Miiller says of Bombus terrestris 
that it " makes a hole in the corolla-tube, a little above the 
calyx, sometimes biting it with its mandible, sometimes 
piercing it with its maxillse, and so reaching the honey with 
its tongue, (I have sometimes seen this bee, before boring 
the flower, make several attempts to reach the honey in the 
legitimate way, — this observation is of interest, as proving 
that the bee is not guided by instinct to the plant adapted 
for it, but that it makes experiments, and gets its honey 
where and how it can.") I have watched bees on the 
flowers of Polyanthus and could only detect them brushing 
up the pollen, but never piercing the corolla so as to reach 
the nectar. Miiller further states that "pollen-collecting 
bees are only able to secure their pollen in short-styled 
flowers ; they learn to recognise the long-styled plants at a 
distance and to avoid them, and then never perform cross- 
fertilisation but very often self -fertilisation." However this 
may be, one interesting result I have noted in my own 
garden is, that this last spring, for the first time in my 
experience in New Zealand, my Polyanthuses have sown 
themselves in the flower-borders. Attempts have often 
been made both here and in other parts to naturalise the 
Primrose and Cowslip in the woods and waste places, but 
hitherto without success. Now it would seem as if by the 
agency of the humble-bees this might be possible. 


Anchusa sp. A large species in my garden is greatly 
frequented by the bees. 




Solatium jasminoides. According to an Oamaru correspon- 
dent this plant is a great favourite. 

Petunia. One correspondent has observed them on these 


Linaria. Two cultivated species, one with white and purj}le 
flowers, the other (L. tristis) with yellow and crimson 
flowers, are frequently visited by the bees in the normal 

Antirrhinum (Frogsmouth or Snapdragon.) These flowers, 
like those of Linaria, are only fertilised by humble-bees, and 
are much visited by them. According to Mr. Page of 
Christchurch, the bees puncture the corollas, and this is 
particularly the case as the season advances. Presumably 
therefore it is the small bees which learn this habit only, 
the larger ones being both strong enough to open the 
corolla and having probosces long enough to reach the 

Pentstemon. These flowers are regularly visited. 
Digitalis purpurea. The Foxglove is a great favourite with 
humble-bees. I find however the flowers are perfectly self- 
fertile, as it blooms all the year round with us and sets seed 
in all weathers ; this too, happened long before humble-bees 
were introduced. 

Veronica. I have never seen the bees on any of the native 
species of this genus (except V. ellipitica, noted on p. 19), 
but on the purple, and especially the crimson hybrids found 
in many gardens they are to be seen in abundance. While 
neglecting white flowers, the bees seem to be particularly 
attracted to red and blue flowers. 


Eccremocarpus scaber. According to a Christchurch corres- 
pondent, these flowers are always punctured by the bees for 
their nectar. 

Ngaio (Myoporum latum) is visited by the bees, according to 
Mr. Fleming of Palmerston S. 


Rosemary {Rosmarinus) is eagerly sought after by the bees. 
Salvia Grahami. According to the Editor of the "New 
Zealand Country Journal," the bees bite the flowers of this 
plant a little above the calyx. I find them common on a 
a species of Stachys. 

Many flowers of this order are regularly visited in Europe 
by humble-bees, e.g. Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) and Mar- 
joram. I have no record of their being so visited here. 


Hakea sp. I have obseived the btes in great numbers on 
the flowers of a pink species. 



The Goat-willow (Salix caprea) is visited both for pollen and 
nectar. I have also seen the bees on the pistillate flowers 
of one of the Poplars (Populus nigra), presumably for the 
sweet (?) secretion which is found on the whole inflorescence. 


The bees occasionally visit the flowers of a dark blue species 
of Iris in my garden ; I have not seen them on flowers of 
any other colour. 

Crocus. Several observers have recorded them from white 
flowers, but on no other colour. 


The Snowdrop (Galantlius nivalis) is one of the few white 
flowers visited by humble-bees. 

Narcissus. I have notes of the bees visiting single and 
double Daffodils, single Jonquils, and both white and yellow 
hybrid Polyanthus Narcissus. In all those flowers having a 
tube-like corona, the bees alight on the perianth and pierce 
the tube to reach the nectar. 


Tulips are frequently visited by humble-bees, so also are 
Hyacinths. In many gardens I have noticed that the 
latter flowers are visited legitimately, while in others in a 
different district, three or four miles away, the perianths 
are invariably pierced by the bees. There is no doubt that 
when once a humble-bee has learned the art of getting 
nectar in an easy manner, it teaches others the art, so that 
all in a district acquire it. Growers of hyacinths in districts 
where the bees pierce the flowers, were this last spring in 
despair over the wholesale destruction of their favourite 

There can be no doubt that the list of flowers given above is still 
very incomplete, and others who will take the trouble to record their 
observations will be able to supplement it largely. It will be of 
interest also to watch whether as the bees increase, they extend their 
visits to flowers which at present are passed over. 

Another point worth noting is as to the " swarming " of humble- 
bees. The life-history and social economy of these insects are quite 
different from those of hive-bees, and the habit of ,'swarming in the 
former is not at first sight a probable one, yet both in Britain and in 
this colony, it has been affirmed that swarms of humble-bees have 
been seen. There is evidently ample room for observational work in 
connection with the development of Bombus terrestris in New Zealand. 



TUATARA (Sphenodon punctalum).* 

BY PROF. A. P. W. THOMAS, M.A., F.G.S., F.L.S., University College, 
Auckland, N.Z. 

A grant was made by the Royal Society in the year 1884 to Pro- 
fessor T. J. Parker, of Dunedin, for the study of the development of 
Apteryx, Sphenodon, and CaMorkynchus. As Sphenodon does not occur 
near Dunedin, hut is found chiefly on outlying islands belonging to the 
province of Auckland, at the opposite end of the colony, Professor 
Parker invited me to join him in the investigation of this form. 

We gathered from what had been written on the natural history of 
the tuatara, as well as from oral information obtained from those who 
were best acquainted with the New Zealand fauna, that the month of 
February was probably the time at which the tuatara bred. 

We therefore started from Auckland at the beginning of February, 
1885, for what appeared the most promising hunting-ground — the 
island of Karewa, some ten miles from Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty. 
Mr. A. Reischek, a naturalist well known by his researches on the 
natural history of New Zealand, who had already had opportunities of 
observing the tuatara, was good enough to accompany us. 

The island of Karewa is situated some four miles from the main- 
land ; it is little more than a rock which rises with precipitous sides 
high above the sea. At one spot only can a landing be effected, as the 
island is exposed to the ocean swell rolling in from the open Pacific, 
whilst the shores are for the greater part formed by unscaleable cliffy of 
rhyolitic rock. Our first attempt at landing was frustrated by the 
swell, but a day later a second attempt was successful. 

The vegetation on the island is largely composed of small karaka 
trees and thickets of eoprosma. The light, loose soil between the roots 
of trees and the rocks is mined by countless burrows, in which live 
mutton-birds (Puffinus tenuirostris) and tuataras. 

On the " Chicken Islands " the tuataras have been described by 
Mr. Reischek as living with certain other sea-birds, namely, another 
species of Puffinus (P. gavius) and two species of Procellaria. This 
has been cited in ' Nature' t as an interesting case of commensalism, and 
and it is there stated that the birds " live in holes dug out by the 
tuataras and keep apparently on the best terms with them." It is 
stated that the tuatara generally lives on the right and the sea-bird on 
the left of the inner chamber. 

I believe it is quite a mistake to suppose that any friendly relation 
whatever exists between the tuataras and the birds, and that here, as 
in the somewhat similar case of the prairie dog and rattlesnake, the idea 
of friendliness is quite out of place. It is true that the tuatara some- 
times makes use of the burrows of the mutton-bird (though I have 

*From the "Proceedings of the Royal Society," Vol. 48. 

t October 19th, 1882. See also "Transactions of the New Zealand Institute," 

Vol. XIV., p. 274. 


never found a tuatara living in the same burrow as a mutton-bird), but 
it cannot be said that the two species ever live on more favourable 
terms than those of mutual toleration. At one time I kept two kiwis 
in a large house with a number of tuataras, and a tuatara would at 
times shelter itself in the same box or corner as a kiwi — the two never 
attempting to fight, the tuatara hiding itself under the kiwi as it would 
do under a stone, whilst the kiwi seemed not to notice its presence. 
The tuatara seems to enter the burrow of the mutton-bird just as it 
would shelter itself in any other hole in the ground. 

In any case, the tuatara must be an untrustworthy associate, for 
on four occasions I have seen or captured tuataras with young mutton- 
birds in their mouths. It is probably a truer view of the situation to 
suppose that the chance of getting a nestling renders the burrows of the 
mutton-bird more attractive to the tuatara. 

Dr. Giinther, in the absence of personal observation, supposed that 
the tuatai-a was incapable of burrowing. It is, however, certain that it 
can burrow well in such light soil as is found on Karewa, and even in 
the clay soil on which my lizard-houses are situated the animals have 
made burrows fully two feet in length, in which they are completely 
hidden. Not all the lizards, however, are so industrious ; most of them 
have contented themselves with the artificial burrows, in the shape of 
long wooden boxes and drain pipes, with which they have been provided. 

We spent some days camping on the island and captured a number 
of tuataras, but searched in vain for eggs, though we opened up many 
burrows in the hope of finding them. The smallest tuatara found was 
4-9 inches in length. Not finding eggs, we dissected several tuataras, 
thinking that the condition of the ovaries might tell us whether we 
were too early or too late in the breeding season, but the dissection 
revealed no eggs at all approaching inaturit}'. 

We took away from the island a number of tuataras, hoping that 
they woxdd breed in captivity. Some of these were taken by Professor 
Parker to Dunedin, a rather larger number being kept by me in 
Auckland, as it was tho\ight that the warmer climate of the northern 
part of the colony would - be more favourable. 

Up to the beginning of January, 1886, no eggs had been obtained 
from my tuataras, and, as regards the lizards I then possessed, any 
such hope was futile, for I shortly afterwards discovered that all my 
tuataras (twenty-nine in number) were males. Thinking that our 
visit the previous summer had been too late in the season, I determined 
to make another expedition to Karewa ; this time at my own expense. 
Professor Parker was unable to join me, owing to the great distance of 
Dunedin from the spot ; he was, moreover, engaged in working at the 
development of the kiwi. From this date, therefore, the whole of the 
work fell into my hands. I spent three or four days at the beginning 
of January in camp alone on Karewa ; but, although a month earlier 
in the season than on the occasion of the previous visit, I was again 
unsuccessful in procuring a single egg of the tuatara. 

I made, however, a step in advance by discovering the external 
differences between the sexes. We had been assured by those familiar 
with the tuatara that there was no difference in the external characters 


of the sexes, and this statement seemed to be borne out by what we 
could learn from the literature of the subject. Thus, Dr. Newman, the 
latest writer on the subject, said* : "The males are so like the females 
that they have not yet been distinguisued with certainty." 

" The male tuatara has no special strong marked tints, no special 
personal attraction ; and, unlike the males of several other species of 
lizards, are not much, if at all, bigger than the females. The absence 
of special sexual attributes is perhaps due, &c." 

On dissecting and carefully comparing a number of tuataras, I 
found that the current statements were not correct. There need 
seldom be any difficulty in distinguishing the sexes ; the male is much 
lai'ger, and has the crests on neck and back far more strongly developed. 
In the fully adult male, the crests with their white spines are very 
conspicuous ; in the female, the crests are low, and the spines are 
reduced to a row of white points along the back. The male, too, is of 
more robust build, its coloration is somewhat bi'igkter, and it is more 
pugnacious. During the breeding season the crests in the male become 
at times turgid and swollen, the spines standing stiffly up, and giving 
the animal a much more antique and. grotesque appearance. It must 
be noted, however, that a good deal of variation occurs in both the 
tints and brightness of colour in both sexes, and the spines are larger 
in some females than in others. 

The discovery of the external characters of the sexes showed me 
that all the tuataras I had kept for the past year (twenty-nine in 
number) were males. This arose chiefly from the fact that males are' 
more easily obtained than females ; but it is possible that our desire to 
obtain the largest, most vigorous, and fully adult animals for breeding- 
accounts in part for our having retained only males for breeding 

On the occasion of this second visit I secured as many females as I 
could, but found more difficulty in obtaining females than males, so 
that I set a number of males at liberty as being superfluous. The 
apparently greater abundance of the males is perhaps due to the 
females seeking concealment more than the other sex • at any rate, I 
am led to suggest this from the observation of my tuataras kept in 
confinement. The instinct of concealment would, of course, be of 
special value to a female laden with eggs. 

Notwithstanding that I now possessed a dozen pairs of tuataras, no 
eggs were obtained till the following summer. The lizards had been 
kept in large houses and were well cared for, and appeared in good 
health, but would not breed. Captivity would seem to interfere with 
their reproductive powers, an effect which would hardly be anticipated 
with animals of so sluggish a nature. 

I could only refer their sterility in confinement to a change in 
some of the conditions of life consequent on captivity, and endeavouring 
therefore, to make their surroundings approximate more closely to the 
natural ones, I had still larger houses constructed, and extensive runs 
on the open ground enclosed. 

It was not, however, till January, 1SS9, that eggs were obtained, 
and even then some of them were infertile. Weary of the constant 
watching of the lizards in previous summers, I took a short holiday at 
the New Year, and during an absence of five or six days a female 

* "Transactions New Zealand Institute," vol. 10, p. 225. 


lizard died, but was not noticed by the attendant in charge. On my 
return I found that it had contained twelve fully formed eggs; they 
had, however, began to putrefy. A second female laid ten eggs, which 
proved infertile. A third, which promised well, died from inability to 
lay its eggs. It was closely watched, and dissected within an hour of 
its death. The oviducts contained four and five eggs respectively, fully 
formed and ready for laying. From these eggs were obtained a number 
of embryos at various stages of development, from a stage equal to a 
two days' chick up to a stage shortly before hatching. This year I 
hoped to obtain a further supply of embryos, but only one female has 
laid, and her eggs were infertile. 

The eggs of the tuatara are oval in form, both ends being of equal 
diameter, and vary in length from 2 - 5 to 3 '35 cm. The egg-shell is 
probably much like that of other oviparous lizards, being tough, flexible, 
and very elastic; it contains a varying amount of carbonate of lime. 
The eggs dry and shrivel with great readiness when exposed to the 
air, and must, therefore, be kept in damp surroundings. On the other 
hand, excess of moisture encourages the growth cf micro-organisms in 
the mucus with which the eggs are frequently covered when laid, and 
such foreign growths tend to the destruction of the contents. 

On the whole, the general features of the development are closely 
similar to those in other lizards ; I propose, therefore, to reserve the 
details until a complete account can be given. I may, however, mention 
that the pineal eye becomes a promint feature at an early stage. When 
pigment is deposited in the skin, an oval spot is left free from it over' 
the eye, and thi'ough this the dark pigment of the retina shows clearly. 
Spencer has stated that there is in Sphenodon very little external trace 
of the pineal eye. This is true of the adult, but in the recently hatched 
tuatara the pineal eye still shows as a dai-k spot through the translucent 
skin over the parietal foramen. This I have been able to observe even 
in a tuatara 8 inches in length. But as the tuatara grows older the 
skin over the pineal eye becomes more opaque, and though in some 
individuals the scantier development of the pigment over the parietal 
foiamen affords a feeble indication of the position of the eye, yet in 
others the pigment is deposited there as elsewhere, so that all external 
trace of the eye is finally lost. 


"The Birds of New Zealand." — Lovers of books will regret to 
learn that two shipments of Sir Walter Buller's " Birds of New 
Zealand " have been lost at sea. In the early part of last year over a 
hundred copies of this work destined for Auckland subscribers went 
down in the ill-fated steamer " Maitai," when she struck on a rock off 
Mercury Island; and now, by the mysterious loss of the barque 
"Assaye," on her voyage from London, one hundred and forty more 
subscribers' copies have disappeared. The edition having been strictly 
limited to one thousand, and the colour stones having been destroyed 
(so as to keep faith with the subscribers), the commercial value of the 
copies that remain ought to be considerably enhanced ; indeed, we are 
informed that Messrs. E. A. Petherick & Co., the well known Sydney 
booksellers, sold their last copy for £16, being five pounds in excess of 


the original price paid by original subscribers in this colony. Sub- 
scribers who possess this work will, however, do well to retain it ; for 
there is no reason why it should not, like the former edition, rise to a 
phenomenal value in the course of a few years. The cost of producing 
the highly finished illustrations in colours is so enormous that it is 
hardly likely ever to reach a third edition ; whilst on the other hand, 
the birds themselves are becoming so rapidly extinct that ere long 
many of the species will be a mere memory of the past. We have 
lately seen a letter from Sir George Grey, in which he refers to it as 
" a valuable and beautiful work," which he has added to his 
munificent gifts of books to the Auckland Free Library. Professor 
McCoy, F.R.S., the accomplished Director-General of the National 
Museum at Melbourne, who is himself engaged on the Fauna of 
Victoria, says, in a letter to Sir Walter Buller : — "T congratulate you 
" heartily on the magnificent work which you have completed — taking 
■'' letterpress and figures together, far and away the finest local Fauna 
" the Colonies have seen. You have shewn the way, but it will be 
"'very hard indeed to follow." 

The Spread of Ferrets, Weasels and Stoats in the South 
Island. — The action of the Government of this colony in introducing 
these noxious vermin, at the instigation of a few runholders, proves to 
be a most disastrous experiment as far as the indigenous avifauna is 
concerned. The following extract is instructive. It is taken from the 
report furnished to the Surveyor-General by Mr. G. Mueller, Chief 
Surveyor of Westland, of a " Reconnaissance Survey of the head-waters 
of the Okuru, Acton, and Burke Rivers, Westland," and appears in the 
last report (1890) of the Survey Department. Mr. Mueller says : — 
" During the past summer several weasels and ferrets were caught and 
killed at the Okuru and Waiatoto settlements. These creatures were 
taken close to, and some within a mile from, the sea coast. To the 
question as to where they come from there could be only one answer : 
nobody introduced them into Westland, and hence they must have 
been the progeuy of those imported by the Government, and must have 
found their way across the Dividing Range, from either Otago or Can- 
terbury, or both. But in the absence of any signs of rabbits about the 
coast settlements, it is difficult to understand what brought these crea- 
tures over. This mystery was effectually cleared up on my exploration 
trip. We were prepared to meet with rabbits on the first day's travel 
inland, but we were disappointed. It was not until we got near the 
Actor, about nineteen miles from the sea-coast, that we noticed the first 
traces of rabbits, and it was not until we got to the very head- waters of 
the Okuru that we saw the rabbits in numbers. The ferrets and 
weasels, no doubt came up the Dividing Range with the rabbits, but as 
soon as they discovered our ground-birds — our kakapos, kiwis, wood- 
hens, blue-ducks, and such like — they followed up the more palatable 
game. This is what brought the ferrets and weasels down to the coast 
settlements, and the rabbits on our side of the dividing rancie will 
henceforth be left undisturbed and be allowed to spread as they please. 
Past experiences have satisfied me that rabbits never will do much 
mischief on the West Coast. Years ago they were turned out in 
several parts of Westland — parts most favourable to them, open lands 
and sandhills — but they all died out. The climate is evident^ too 
damp for them, and they certainly will never thrive in our dense bush- 


country. Bat, as regards the ferrets, weasels, &c, they will thrive, and 
will continue to thrive until the extermination of our ground-birds, 
which has now begun, is fully accomplished. That I am not prophecy - 
ing evil without good ground I may prove by the following : — In all 
my explorations on the coast, the certainty of getting a good supply of 
birds made it possible to keep the provision swags, which men had to 
carry, within reasonable weights and dimensions. On this last trip of 
mine rather more than the usual amount of provisions was taken, but 
in spite of this precaution, the party had to bo put on short rations for 
the last three days — namely, one scone per man per clay. The farther 
inland the more plentiful the birds, used to be the rule; but that is 
reversed now. At the head of the Okuru and the Burke some nights 
passed during which we never heard the screech of the kakapo or the 
shrill whistle of the kiwi ; and, as for the blue-ducks, we saw only three 
during the whole time we were out. In former times while camping 
near the head-waters of any of the rivers, the fighting of the kakapos 
amongst themselves, and the constant call of the other birds around the 
tent and camp-fire during the night, often kept people from sleeping. 
This has all changed now ; at least in the southern part of the West 
Coast absolute stillness reigns at night, and there is nothing to keep a 
traveller from sleeping, except owing to the absence of birds — an empty 

"Select Extra-Tropical Plants," by Baron Ferd. Yon Mueller. 
— This valuable work has now reached its seventh edition, and is greatly 
enlarged in bulk and usefulness. Every species of useful plant suitable 
for cultivation within the temperate and warm temperate zones is 
treated of, its general character, uses, and native habitat being given. 
At the end are given tables, indicating all the genera of these plants 
according to their uses, thus greatly facilitating reference. Other 
useful tables give (a) the names of the plants according to their 
geographical distribution, (b) important cultural plants arranged 
according to the length of time they require to yield a return, 
(c) those adapted for a frost! ess climate, (d) those adapted even for 
very cold regions, and (e) those fitted even for the driest climate. A 
very full index to vernacular names concludes this useful volume. 
Editions of this useful work have already appeared in India and the 
United States. It has also passed through a German edition by Dr. 
Goeze, and a French recast by Professor Naudin. It is also appearing 
now in a Spanish translation by Professor Kurtz. These facts show 
how much the work is in demand among all the colonising peoples of 
the world. 

Forthcoming Botanical Works. — All botanists will be rejoiced 
to hear that " The Student's Handbook of the New Zealand Flora," by 
Mr. Thos. Kirk, F.L.S., of Wellington, is now in the printer's hands, 
though it will probably not be completed for some time yet. Judging 
by the specimen pages received, the work will be of a very handy size 
and excellently printed, while the author's name is a guarantee of its 
botanical value. 

Another work, which will very shortly be published, is an ' : Intro- 
duction to Structural Botany, for use in New Zealand Schools," by Mr. 
Geo. M. Thomson, F.L.S. It will be a small volume of about 150 pages 
illustrated by over 200 figures, drawn on wood by the author. 

Both works are being printed at the Government Printing Office. 


Are there any Freshwater Crayfish in Fiji. — A freshwater 
crayfish belonging to the same genus as those from New Zealand 
— Paranephrops — is said to be found in Fiji, and is mentioned by 
Professor Huxley in his paper on Freshwater Crayfish in the 
"Proceedings of the Zoological Society, 1878," p. 770. The statement 
appears to rest on specimens in the British Museum, and Professor 
Walter Faxon in his "Revision of the Astacida;," suggests that the 
locality-labels are perhaps erroneous. For some years past I have been 
watching for an opportunity to get specimens from Fiji if possible, so 
as to settle the question, but it was not till this year that I could bear 
of anyone to collect for me. Through Professor Hutton I then became 
acquainted by correspondence with Mr. H. H. Thiele of Nansori, Fiji, 
and this gentleman very kindly set to work at once to collect for me, 
and I received a bottle of specimens from him in August last. 
Unfortunately, howeA'er, these specimens turned out to be Freshwater 
Prawns or Shrimps (Palaemon), not Crayfish {Paranephrops), so that 
they were of no use in settling the particular question at issue. 
However it seems that Freshwater Crayfish must undoubtedly exist in 
Fiji, for in October, 1889, Major W. G. Mair kindly wrote to me to 
say that his late brother, H. A. Mair, who is well known as a keen 
observer and collector in Natural History, had lived for some years in 
Fiji, principally in Ovalau and Yiti-Levu, and had caught Crayfish in 
the mountain streams of these places, which appeared to him to be 
identical with those found in Rotorua, Kotoiti, and other lakes of the 
North Island. If any of the readers of the " New Zealand Journal of 
Science " can give me any further information on the matter, or can get 
specimens for me I shall be much indebted to them. — Chas. Chilton, 
Port Chalmers, 6th December, 1890. 

New Zealand Entomology. — Our readers will be glad to learn 
that Mr. G. "V. Hudson of Wellington is about to publish a popular 
handbook of the insects of New Zealand, with -coloured illustrations 
from drawings by himself. The book will be issued at Ten Shillings, 
and will form an acceptable addition to our local literature. A 
reference to this publication will be found at p. 48, in the report of the 
meeting of the Wellington Philosophical Society, held on 29th October. 



Dunedin, 14th October, 1890.— Eev. H. Belcher, M.A., LL.D., 
President, in the chair. 

Papers. — (1) "On a new parasitic Copepod," by Geo. M. Thomson, 
F.L.S. The author described and figured a new species of Lepeoph- 
theirus which was forwarded to him by Mr. J. F. Erecson, of Waipapapa 
Point Lighthouse, and which he has named after that excellent observer 
and collector L. Erecsoni. It is a small species, and was taken in con- 
siderable numbers on the bodies of the Moki (Latris ciliaris). Mr. 
Thomson then gave a popular account, aided by numerous diagrams, of 
the form, development and mode of life of the ectoparasites belonging 
to the Copepoda. 


(2) " On two new species of Cumacea," by Geo. M. Thomson, F.L.S. 
The author pointed out that no Crustaceans of this group had previously 
been found in New Zealand. The two species described and figured 
belong respectively to the genera Cyclaspis and Diastylis and were taken 
with the dredge in the Bay of Islands. Small specimens of the Cyclaspis 
were also taken with the surface-net in Otago Harbour. 

The genus Cyclaspis was originally founded on a deep-sea form G. 
longicaudata, found by Professor Sars off the Coast of Norway and 
again at great depths in the Atlantic. A second species was subse- 
quently found in the Mediterranean, and the " Challenger " Expedition 
brought back three more, all belonging to the Australian seas. The 
New Zealand species though very distinct from all the others appears 
to be most nearly allied to the Australian C. pusilli. 

The genus Diastylis is largely represented, especially in the 
Northern Ocean. The local species appears to be quite distinct from 
any of the 31 species previously described. 

(3) "Notes on the New Zealand Squillidce" by Chas Chilton, 
M.A., B.Sc. In this paper it was shown that the two species of 
Squillidce given in Miers' " Catalogue of the N.Z. Crustacea," viz : — 
Squilla nepa and Gonoclaclylus trispinosus — are not represented from 
New Zealand in any colonial collection, and that it is very doubtful 
whether they really belong to the New Zealand fauna. The only 
species actually known from New Zealand are Squilla armata recorded 
from Wellington by Mr. T. W. Kirk, and Lysiosquilla spinosa, the 
latter being taken to include Coronis spinosa Wood-Mason, Squilla 
indefensa Kirk, Squilla Icevis Hutton, and Squilla tridenlata Thomson. 
This species is widely distributed over New Zealand and the adjoining- 
islands. Both sexes are fully described and measurements for 
comparison with the species described by Brooks in the " Report on the 
' Challenger ' Stomatopoda," are also given. The peculiar structure 
found on the endopodite of the first abdominal appendage of the male is 
also described and figured. 

(4) "On the changes in form of a parasitic Isopod (JVerocila)," by 
Chas. Chilton, M.A., B.Sc. This paper contained a few notes on a 
parasitic isopod — Ncrocila macleayii, Leach, of which A. novcti-zealandice 
Schiijdte and Meinert, is considered a synonym. The younger forms 
which differ from the adult females in the breadth of the body, eyes, 
prominence of epimera, &c , are described and compared with the adult, 
and figures of each are given. 

(5) " On the origin of the Sternum," by Professor T. Jeffery 
Parker, F.R.S. The author contrasts the two forms of Sternum found 
in Vertebrata, the costal sternum of Amniota and the omo-sternum (pre- 
and post-omo-sternum) of Amphibia, and attempts to show how, in spite 
of their different ontogeny, they may be genetically connected. He also 
describes the shoulder-girdle of Natidanus indicus and draws attention 
to the fact that its mid-ventral portion is formed by two distinct cartila- 
ginous elements, apparently the pre- and post-omo sternum. This 
appears to be the first instance hitherto recorded of the occurrence of 
a sternum in fishes. 



Dunedin, 18th Novembar, 1890.— Rev. H. Belcher, M.A., LL.D., 
President, in the chair. 

Paper. — The President read a paper on Ibsen's Works. 


The Secretary (Professor Gibbons) read the annual report as 
follows :-— 

In presenting their report for the past session the council has to 
again express its regret that the meetings of the society have not been 
more largely attended by the members and the public. The system of 
sending out post cards to members on the eve of each meeting has been 
abandoned in favour of putting an advertisement in the newspapers, 
without producing any appreciable change in the numbers attending 
the meetings. A conversazione was held on March 1, during the visit 
of the Senate of the New Zealand University to Dunedin. During the 
session six general meetings were held. At the first an interesting 
account was given by Mr. Chapman of his visit to the outlying 
islands south of New Zealand when he exhibited maps and speci- 
mens of the birds and plants obtained on them. At the July 
meeting a paper " On the extinction of the Moa " was read by Rev. 
Mr. Christie, of Waikouaiti ; and at the September meeting a paper 
" On the food of the Moa and its extinction," by Mr. Vincent Pyke, 
was also read. At the August meeting a paper " On the philosophy of 
David Hume " was read by Professor Salmond. At the other meetings 
papers were read as follows: —"A new species of Megeis," by Mr. 
Goyen ; " Description of Native plants," by Mr. Petrie; " The etymo- 
logy of the Penguin," by Dr. Belcher ; " On the Cat in Ancient Italy," 
by Dr. Belcher j " On the anatomy of the Red Cod (Lotella Bacchus) " 
by Mr. Beattie ; " The New Zealand Squillidse," and " The change in 
the form of an Isopod," by Mr. Chilton; "On a new parasitic Copepod/' 
and "Two species of Cumacea," by Mr. Thomson; "On the origin of the 
Sternum," by Professor Parker. In the course of the session a new 
bookcase has been obtained for the library, to which numerous additions 
of books have been made, including Day's " Fishes of India" ; and a 
large number of back volumes of periodicals have been bound. A 
microscope-attachment to the magic lantern has been obtained, which 
the council hope will prove an additional attraction to the meetings. 
During the session four new members were elected. The number on 
the roll is now 123, of whom 10 are life members. The balance-sheet 
shows a balance from last year of .£76 2s. Id., subscriptions to date 
£129 2s. 6d., making total receipts £205 4s. 7d. Cash expenditure, 
£96 5s. 7d. ; leaving a credit balance of £108 19s. The liabilities 
amount to £50. There is also a sum of £277 14s. standing in the 
bank on fixed deposit. 

On the motion of Mr. A. Wilson, M.A., the report was adopted. 

The following gentlemen were elected office-bearers for 1891: — 
President: Professor F. B. de M. Gibbons, M.A. Vice-Presidents: 
Rev. H. Belcher, M.A., LL.D., and Mr. C. W. Adams. Hon. 


Secretary: Mr. A. Hamilton. Hon. Treasurer: Mr. E. Melland. 
Council: Professors Parker, FR.S., and Scott, M.D., Drs. Hocken, 
F.L.S., and de Zouche, Messrs. P. R, Chapman, D. Petrie, M.A , and 
Geo. M. Thomson, F.L.S. Auditor : Mr. D. Brent, M.A. 

Mr. D. Brent mentioned that the Otago Institute had now come 
of age — that was to say, it was just 21 years old. On July 3, 
1869, Mr. J. S. Webb, who took a very active part in the foundation 
of the institute, convened a meeting in the long room of the Athenamm 
Hall, at which Dr. Hocken was also pi'eaent. About three weeks after- 
wards a meeting was held in the Provincial Council library, at which 
the Otago Institute was formally constituted. A list of the original 
members showed 80 names, and on looking over it he was surprised to 
find that 20 of them still belonged to the institute. They were : — 
Messrs. C. W. Adams, C. M. Barr, A. Bathgate, L. O. Beal, A. 
Beverly, D. Brent, Robert Chapman, W. Fraser (Eavnscleugh), Dr. 
Hocken, James M'Kerrow, W. Martin (Green Island) A. C. Purdie, 
B. C. Quick, James Rattray, Hon. W. H. Reynolds, G. G. Russell, 
H. Skey, and Sir R. Stout. Others had left the colony, but the 
following original members had since passed away : — Messrs. W. 
Arthur, Dr. Borrows, R. Gillies, S. Hawthorne, W. Langlands, J. 
Macandrew, W. D. Murison, A. C. Strode, and J. T. Thomson. Judge 
Ward presided at the meeting to which he had just made reference, 
and Messrs. J. S. Webb and Dr. Hocken were the first joint secretaries. 


Wellington, 23rd July, 1890.— Charles Hulke, F.C.S., President, 
in the chair. 

New Member. — Mr. J. W. Poynton. 

Papers. — (1) " Curiosities of Polynesian Speech," by E. Tregear, 
F.R.G.S. Mr. Tregear said that having been for some years employed 
in the comparative study of the Polynesian dialects, he had devoted 
himself to the task of collating different vocabularies and putting them 
into a position wherein they could be easily examined. The Maori 
language was a branch of a great family of human speech, and any 
effort made to understand it in its original purity would fail if it was 
studied without the light thrown upon it by the sister dialects. In 
many of the islands inhabited by the fair Polynesians letters had been 
lost from their alphabets, and the work of an investigator was cramped 
if he had not the time or energy to accumulate the material at present 
lying in a chaotic state. His Comparative Dictionary was an 
endeavour to produce a work tending to simplify this labour, and to 
allow a student to perceive at a glance what words or probable words 
were equivalent to those in use in New Zealand. Any attempt to 
compare the Polynesian language with the speech of peoples dwelling on 
the great continents would also be simplified by the existence of such a 
handbook. During the course of his investigations he had searched 
through hundreds of old poems, legends, (fee, and had compared the 
mythologies, genealogies, (fee, of celebrated deities, and heroes, as given 
in New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Rtratonga, the Marquesas, 


Hawaii, &c, in order that the book might serve as a classical dictionary 
for Polynesia. The work had proved so interesting to him that he 
believed some of the results might also be of interest to the members of 
the Society, and he proposed to adduce some examples of words, showing 
the curious letter-changes and remarkable distortions of meaning in 
many cases. Mr. Tregear then gave at length comparatives and mean- 
ings of the Maori words koi, kao, elm, ike, huru, hono, whenua, raumati, 
kerokero, taurekareka, erangi, ua, whahairo, mua, hoa, mahara, kokiri, 
tareparepa, mangere, rorni, &c, &c. 

In the second part of his paper Mr. Tregear said, that the habit of 
substituting a lost consonant between two vowels, or before a word 
oommencing with a vowel, became so confirmed with one accustomed to 
study the Eastern Polynesian dialects that it was almcst impossible not 
to read Maori in the same way. Some of the words used by the Maori 
people had a double form, with or without the k ; and other words, if 
compared with similar forms in the different dialects, appeared to have 
lost a consonant. It was fjossible, he believed, by comparative study, 
to restore the lost consonants in the Maori language, although it would 
need much study and great care. The result of his research was that, 
although the New Zealand Maori had lost less than any of the other 
Oceanic dialects, it was by rio means the primitive and virgin speech 
commonly supposed. 

The President congratulated the members upon the fact of this 
paper being the first one that had been offered in competition for the 
Society's medals, although he was afraid that the author would have the 
field to himself. As regards this paper it was a most interesting one, not 
only on account of the subjects but on account of the manner in which 
the subject had been treated. Those who took an interest in these 
matters should be thankful for any addition made to our knowledge of 
these dialects ; the more so when such work was done as a labour of 
love. The way in which the author had made a comparative analysis 
of the different Polynesian dialects threw a new light entirely upon 
them. Some persons might consider such a paper dry, but the author, 
from the novel manner in which he had treated his subject, had made 
it very intei'esting, and the suggestions were extremely valuable. The 
great value of this paper lay in the author's views on the reconstruction 
of the originals of the numerous dialects in use in Polynesia. 

(2) "On the New Zealand Cicadce," by G. V. Hudson, F.E.S. 
The awthor began by drawing attention to the erroneous name of 
" locust " which was frequently applied to the Cicadce, and pointed out 
that they had no manner of affinity with that family of insects. Allu- 
sion was also made to the fact that they were essentially characteristic 
of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world. The 
apparatus which enables the males to make the well-known chirping 
was then briefly described, as well as the ovipositors of the females. 
Six species of Cicadce were noticed, and their habits, &c, described, two 
of which, Cicada singulata and muta, were already known, and four, 
C. tristis, C. a.prilina, C. cassiojK, C. iolanthe, were new species. The 
author then recounted a few observations he hud made on the life- 
histories of the Cicadce, and pointed out what a large amount of 
investigation was still needed in that direction. 


Mr. T. W. Kirk was surprised that this interesting genus had 
hitherto been almost passed over by New Zealand entomologists. The 
paper just read would be extremely "welcome to naturalists. As far 
back as 1872, the late Dr. Powell described, in the "Transactions of 
the New Zealand Institute," the stridulating organs of the New Zealand 
species, and about two years ago Mr. Lucas did the same for Australia. 
Mr. Hudson made no mention in his paper of the destructive habits of 
the Cicadce. A few days after the female emerged she commenced to 
lay. Making a longitudinal slit in the bark of the tree, she proceeds to 
saw a number of V-shaped cuts in the wood so as to raise the fibres and 
prevent the bark from healing. She then deposits her eggs in pairs in 
each wound. The total laying sometimes amounts to hundreds. The 
female then dies, the eggs hatch, and the young grub drops to the 
ground, and then undergoes the transformation mentioned by Mr. 
Hudson. The Cicada prefers the Manuka, but nothing comes amiss, 
and the young shoots of orchard trees sometimes suffer considerably ; 
the damaged shoots, if not killed, generally break off when the fruit 
begins to swell. As regards the pupa being mistaken for mole-crickets, 
he might say that there certainly were veritable English mole -crickets 
in New Zealand. He had exhibited specimens which were alive when 

Mr. Maskell had seen twigs of fruit- and other trees damaged by 
these insects, but he did not think the urgency was so great as supposed; 
still it was sufficient to make those concerned take steps to prevent it. 

Mr. Hudson, in reply, said that he had not in this paper gone into 
the subject of the eggs of the Cicadce ; indeed he had great difficulty in 
procuring eggs, and would be glad to get them from any member. 

Wellington, 13th August, 1890— Charles Hulke, F.C.S., President, 
in the chair. 

Paper. — "On some Means for increasing the scale of Photographic 
Lenses, and the use of telescopic powers in connection with an ordinary 
Camera," by Alex. McKay, F.G.S. This is a discovery in the art of 
photography, by which, through the use of telescopic powers in 
connection with an ordinary camera, photographs of remarkable 
correctness in all matters of detail may be taken several miles distant. 
(The author described in detail the series of experiments he had made 
in perfecting his process.) In the first place, by the use of a telescopic 
eyepiece, consisting of one or more dispersion-lenses of different powers, 
photographs on an increased scale, and greater size can be produced 
from the same standpoint without it being necessary to use a camera 
other than that which is fitting to the photographic object in the first 
instance. The Instrument may also be used in connection with 
microscopic photography. Secondly, a travelling screw, connecting the 
two parts of the telescopic tube, which, with a thread of, or approaching, 
40 to the inch, affords the required degree of nicety in adjusting the 
objective and the eyepiece. Thirdly, a focusing-glass or eyepiece, to 
be used in the position of the focusing-screen, enables the use of a 
focusing-cloth to be dispensed with, and also the screen in giving the 


final and highest degree of sharpness to the picture, and by means of a 
sliding part or travelling screw it may be made to adjust differences in 
the length of the foci resulting from the use of imperfect lenses in the 
other optical parts of the instrument. Mr. McKay concluded by 
stating that he was taking steps to procure protection of his invention, 
and in due time he hoped to secure patent rights for the same, and 
such other improvements as may yet be effected. Several hundreds of 
views of the North and South Island taken by the new process were 
afterwards shown with a lantern, and comparisons made with those 
taken by the ordinary process. 

Mr. W. T. L. Travers expressed the opinion that the discovery 
would completely revolutionise photography, and would prove most 
valuable for astrouomical research and for the purposes cf warfare. 

Sir James Hector considered that the thanks of the Society was 
due to Mr. McKay for having brought his important discovery before 
the members. He had perfected his invention after years of work and 
at great expense. 

Mr. Field said he suspected the so-called invention was no new 
thing, as he had seen photographs of Auckland which, taken from the 
North Shore, showed the minutest details of the buildings and shore 
line on the opposite side of Waitemata Harbour. 

Mr. E. C. Harding said that the possibilities of Mr. McKay's 
discovery seemed only to have been faintly indicated in what had been 
said that evening, and, for his own part, he was most impressed by its 
value in connection with the graphic arts. The comparative views of 
the same landscape as taken by the ordinary lens and by the telescopic 
combination were specially interesting and instructive ; and the 
question had been raised as to which of the two processes was the 
more artistic, or more closely resembled the effect to the eye. The 
difference between two such photographs was obvious, and the question 
raised was one in dispute among artists themselves. It was the 
accepted practice in painting to give well-defined detail both to near 
and distant objects, though it was impossible for the eye, without a 
change of focus, to recognise both in nature. Hence the contention of 
the impressionists that the conventional style was false, and the 
practice on their part of representing some portion of the picture in 
detail and slurring over the rest. He considered that the conventional 
art and the pictures taken by Mr. McKay's process, representing both 
the nearest and most distant objects with perfect clearness, were truer, 
both to art and nature, as the necessary change of focus in the human 
eye was so rapidly and unconsciously effected. Mr. McKay's discovery, 
therefore, was quite as important on artistic as on scientific grounds. 

The President (Mr Hulke) sidd that members had overlooked the 
fact that Mr. McKay's discovery would materially lessen the load 
photographers have to carry at the present time, and that the number 
of lenses required would by the same means be lessened. The pictures 
referred to by Mr. Field were taken by a good but ordinary instrument. 
Mr. McKay's invention would be invaluable to geologists. 


Wellington, Sth October, 1890.— C. Hulke, F.O.S., President, in 
the chair. 

New Member. — Mr. \V. Barton. 

Papers. — (1) "Farther Coccicl Notes, with descriptions of new 
species from New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji," by Mr. W. M. Masked. 
The author said that as this was a technical paper he would not read 
it in full. He might explain that it was in continuation of similar 
papers read last year and in former years on work he had been engaged 
in for the last fourteen years. It described about twenty new species — 
five from Australia, one from Fiji, and the rest from New Zealand. 
Plates figuring these accompanied the paper. The paper also contained 
remarks on formerly described species in this and other parts of the 
world. He also exhibited about 150 different species of insects, inclu- 
ding chose he had already described, together with others from various 
localities. He regretted much that entomologists generally did not 
think it worth their while to study this particular family, the coccidre. 
He believed that he himself was the only person in New Zealand who 
had published anything about it. Outside New Zealand there were not 
more than eight or ten who gave attention to scale insects. This was a 
bad thing, and he felt it much, as he had here no one to discuss the 
subject with, or to correct him if he fell into any errors. Two 
gentlemen at Reefton collected for and assisted him greatly, but they 
did not write on the subject and relied entirely on him for determi- 
nations — there was no one to keep him straight, so to say. But 
chiefly he regretted that entomologists would not depart from the 
general groove of butterflies, moths, and beetles. We knew pretty 
■well all that can be known of these ; at least their study had been so 
close that the varieties seemed now-a-days only trivial. In the coccida? 
there was infinite variety and work of the greatest interest — a 
variety of life-history, habits, and customs that seemed greater than 
that afforded by any other branch of entomology. He gave instances 
of peculiarities in these insects — wonderful vitality in some cases, and 
about the boring habits of one particular insect after it had thrown oft' 
legs, mouth, <fcc. — all tending to prove that these little despised 
creatures were more interesting for study than all the butterflies. 

Mr. Hudson said that he wished to say a few words on the 
subject of general entomology. While fully appreciating the great 
value and interest attaching to the study of the coccidae he felt 
confident that any other family of insects closely investigated would 
yield equally interesting results. After showing the limited extent of 
the eoccicke, compared with the remainder of the great class insecta, he 
pointed out the vast variety existing in the habits of various other 
families and orders, commencing with the lepidoptera. He said that 
some fed on the leaves of plants, some on roots, some burrowed in the 
stems of trees, making a trap-door to protect themselves from enemies. 
Others again constructed cases which they dragged about with them, 
while others, among the minute species, tunnelled between the layers 
of leaves, lived in the kernels of fruits, nuts, seeds, &c, &c. Their 
mode of passing the winter was equally varied. Some hibernated, 
laying their eggs on the sprouting plants in the spring, others spent 
the same period in the ground or in cocoons as pupae, others hibernated 
as larva 3 , while others again passed the inclement months in the egg 


state. Turning to the coleoptera or beetles, equal variety in habits 
was found to exist. Many species burr awed through trees in the larva 
state, others were carnivorous, forming pitfalls in the earth to capture 
their prey. As a striking instance of diversity of habit the genus 
Sitaris was mentioned. This beetle laid an enormous number of eggs 
near the entrance to the nests of various species of solitary bees. 
These eggs hatched out as minute active insects with six legs. Numbers 
of them perished, but a few managed to jump on to the bees as they 
visited their nests. Here the larva remained until the bee was in her 
own cell, where she deposited an egg which floated on the top of the 
honey that the bee had industriously stored up for her offspring. As 
soon as the Sitaris larva got a chance it left the bee and jumped on to 
the egg, which it then devoured. Casting its skin it now appeared as 
an ordinary beetle-grub, feeding on the honey until it was all consumed, 
when it was transformed into a pupa, from which the beetle finally 
issued. The remarkable habits of social insects were also alluded to, 
and the number of the other orders of insects compared with the 
hemiptera, of which the coccidse were but a small family. He did not 
wish to detain the Society further, but hoped that he had said enough 
to show that the whole insect world was teeming with interest and 

Mr. Travers : The great value of Mr. Maskell's work has been the 
determining of insects that have been so injurious to our fruit and 
other trees, and the pointing out of remedies to be applied to prevent 
damage. The fruit-growers of New Zealand are under great obligations 
to Mr. Maskell ; so that although Mr. Maskell's labours are principally 
of value from a scientific point of view, yet for economic purposes they 
have been of the greatest benefit. Had it not been for his great 
labours many of these pests would have escaped observation and have 
gone on doing the greatest mischief. Beetles and other insects are also 
very injurious to trees, and are easily introduced from other countries, 
so that anyone who devotes- his attention to the observation of the 
life-history of such objects is deserving of credit. 

Mr. Maskell, in reply, said ha did not wisli it to be understood 
that he thought the study of other forms of insect life had no interest. 
He considered, however, that there was very little new to be gathered 
in other branches of entomology — the subject of butterflies and beetles 
had been pretty well worked out, while there was still so much to learn 
from the study of the coccida?. What he was doing now was purely for 
science — he was rather sick of the economic side of the question. His 
reasons were partly personal, no doubt, as he found great numbers of 
persons ready to ask advice as to the means of treating their trees and 
improving their property, but nobody seemed to recollect that their 
adviser might have economic necessities of his own, or to think' it 
necessary to offer the least remuneration for the advice. But, 
principally, he found that whatever counsels might be given, the chief 
object of many persons seemed to be to introduce at once confusion and 
uncertainty. For example, in the case of phylloxera, which is now 
well-established in New Zealand, in view of the wretched obstructiveness 
of the colonists, he had considered it his duty to strongly recommend to 
the Government and to Parliament the total destruction of all vines in 
the infected districts. At once the newspapers threw, as it were, a wet 


blanket over the proposal by terming it "drastic," a word which 
frightened everybody : members of Parliament with a general election 
in view declined to study the real interests of their constituents in 
comparison with their votes, and so nothing was done, and phylloxera 
is now spreading at its own sweet will through the North Island. In 
fact the "economic " side of the matter was enough to sicken anybody, 
and he had in the present paper left it entirely aside. 

Mr. Hulke : Mr. Maskell's remarks on this subject were most 
interesting, given as they had been to-night in a popular manner, and 
quite within the capacity of all to understand and apply. He 
considered that Mr. Maskell's work had not only a great scientific 
value, but had been most beneficial to agriculture generally. 

(2) "On the Life History of the New Zealand Glow-Worm," by 
G. V. Hudson, F.E.8. The author gave a most interesting account of 
these curious insects, and illustrated his remai-ks by drawings of the 
stages of development of the worm. He dwelt particularly on the 
peculiarity of the light given by these creatures in all their forms of 
growth. ; 

Mr. Travers said that these worms were first mentioned by Hoch- 
stetter, but he did not think they had been described. 

Mr. Maskell : Has the light been microscopically examined? 
Could it possibly be phosphorent infusoria 1 It might not be at the 
will of the insect that the light went out, as described by Mr. Hudson. 
He was sorry that Mr. Hudson did not describe the insect himself, 
instead of sending it to some one else to do. He thought Mr. Hudson 
was quite able to describe his own insects. 

Mr. Poynton was of opinion that the extinction of the light was 
quite a voluntary act on the part of the worm. He had seen numbers 
on the West Coast, and was quite satisfied of this. 

Mr. Hudson, in reply, said that he was confident that the 
extinction of the light of the glow-worm was a voluntary act on. the 
part of the larva, aud, as such, could not possibly be clue to parasitic 
infusoria. It was also almost incredible than an aggregation of animal- 
cule could give such a brilliant light. He felt sure that the organ he 
had described produced the light at the will of the insect, but its use 
he was entirely unable to explain. 

Wellington, 29th October, 1890.— Charles Hulke, F.C.S., President, 
in the chair. 

It was announced that in conformity Avith the Act, Mr. Charles 
Hulke had been nominated to vote in the election of Governors of the 
New Zealand Institute for the ensuing year. 

Papers. — (1) "An exhibition of new and interesting forms of New 
Zealand Birds with remarks thereon," by Sir Walter Buller, K.C.M.G, 
F.Fl.S. The author said that probably no section of New Zealand 
Zoology had received such careful attention or been so thoroughly worked 
out as the Birds. Their beauty of form and colour and the peculiar 


interest attaching to their life history — their natural habits, their song, 
their wonderful modes of uidification — and their general ministration 
to the wants and caprices of man, all tended to make the study of our 
birds more attractive than that of any other branch of natural history. 
So much had already been written on the subject that it might 
reasonably have been looked upon as an exhausted field, but so far from 
this being the case, new forms and characters of bird-life, and new facts 
in the history of even our commonest species were being continually 
brought to light, and it seemed to the author that, after the manner of 
the Zoological Society of London, which had proved so eminently 
successful, the best mode of bringing observations of the kind before 
such a Society as this was to exhibit specimens wherever practicable, 
and to make brief remarks upon them by way of explanation or sugges- 
tion. By this means facts and observations of a valuable kind might 
often be elicited during the customary discussion that follows the 
reading of a paper. The author then exhibited and remarked upon the 
following species : — 

Miro traversi, Buller. Obtained at the Snares, where itHs compa- 
ratively numerous. It inhabits the Chatham Islands, but has never 
been met with in any part of New Zealand, or on the Auckland, Camp- 
bell, Antipodes, or Bounty Islands. The author offered no explanation 
of this very remarkable distribution. 

Siihenceacus fulvus, Gray. Also from the Snares, where this species 
inhabits the trees, instead of fern-beds and swamp vegetation like its 
near ally (S. jmnctatus) in New Zealand. The author pointed out 
modifications in structure, apparently the result of this different habit 
of life. 

Prosthemadera novce-zealandice, Gmelin. A very remarkable speci- 
men of the Tui, almost a pure albino, was exhibited, and mention made 
of several other departures from the normal character. 

Platycercus novce-zealandice, Sparrm. A pair from Antipodes Is- 
lands was exhibited, showing a larger mixture of yellow in the plumage 
than ordinary New Zealand examples, and some interesting particulars 
given respecting the local varieties of this highly variable species. 

Gallinago auchlandica, Gray. Of this rare Snipe two specimens 
were shewn from the Snares and two from the Auckland Islands. The 
sexes are alike, but the birds from the former locality are some shades 
darker in plumage than those from the Auckland Islands, and ought 
perhaps to be referred to Gallinago jmsilla. 

Tringa canutus, Linn. A specimen of this cosmopolitan species 
(the Common Knot) from Pelorus Sound, just passing into the summer 
plumage, was next commented on. 

Larus novce-hollandice, Stephens. A fine specimen of this bird 
from Otago was shewn to the meeting, and also an apparently new and 
undescribed Gull, which was critically compared with Larus scopidinus 
and Larus bidleri, to bring out the points of difference. 

Ocydromus earli, ■ Gray. An example of the true 0. earh from 
Marlborough was exhibited, and an interesting account given by the 


blanket over the proposal by terming it "drastic," a word which 
frightened everybody : members of Parliament with a general election 
in view declined to study the real interests of their constituents in 
comparison with their votes, and so nothing was done, and phylloxera 
is now spreading at its own sweet will through the North Island. In 
fact the "economic " side of the matter was enough to sicken anybody, 
and he had in the present paper left it entirely aside. 

Mr. Hulke : Mr. Maskell's remarks on this subject were most 
interesting, given as they had been to-night in a popular manner, and 
quite within the capacity of all to understand and apply. He 
considered that Mr. Maskell's work had not only a great scientific 
value, but had been most beneficial to agriculture generally. 

(2) " On the Life History of the New Zealand Glow-Worm," by 
G. V. Hudson, F.E.S. The author gave a most interesting account of 
these curious insects, and illustrated his remarks by drawings of the 
stages of development of the worm. He dwelt particularly on the 
peculiarity of the light given by these creatures in all their forms of 
growth. ; 

Mr. Travers said that these worms were first mentioned by Hoch- 
stetter, but he did not think they had been described. 

Mr. Maskell : Has the light been microscopically examined 1 
Could it possibly be phosphorent infusoria ? It might not be at the 
will of the insect that the light went out. as described by Mr. Hudson. 
He was sorry that Mr. Hudson did not describe the insect himself, 
instead of sending it to some one else to do. He thought Mr. Hudson 
was quite able to describe his own insects. 

Mr. Poynton was of opinion that the extinction of the light was 
quite a voluntary act on the part of the worm. He had seen numbers 
on the West Coast, and was quite satisfied of this. 

Mr. Hudson, in reply, said that he was confident that the 
extinction of the light of the glow-worm was a voluntary act on the 
part of the larva, and, as such, could not possibly be due to parasitic 
infusoria. It was also almost incredible than an aggregation of animal- 
cule could give such a brilliant light. He felt sure that the organ he 
had described produced the light at the will of the insect, but its use 
he was entirely unable to explain. 

Wellington, 29th October, 1890.— Charles Hulke, F.C.S., President, 
in the chair. 

It was announced that in conformity with the Act, Mr. Charles 
Hulke had been nominated to vote in the election of Governors of the 
New Zealand Institute for the ensuing year. 

Papers. — (1) "An exhibition of new and interesting forms of New 
Zealand Birds with remarks thereon," by Sir Walter Buller, K.C.M.G, 
F.Pv-.S. The author said that probably no section of New Zealand 
Zoology had received such careful attention or been so thoroughly worked 
out as the Birds. Their beauty of form and colour and the peculiar 


interest attaching to their life history — their natural habits, their song, 
their wonderful modes of nidification — and their general ministration 
to the wants and caprices of man, all tended to make the study of our 
birds more attractive than that of any other branch of natural history. 
So much had already been written on the subject that it might 
reasonably have been looked upon as an exhausted field, but so far from 
this being the case, new forms and characters of bird-life, and new facts 
in the history of even our commonest species were being continually 
brought to light, and it seemed to the author that, after the manner of 
the Zoological Society of London, which had proved so eminently 
successful, the best mode of bringing observations of the kind before 
such a Society as this was to exhibit specimens wherever practicable, 
and to make brief remarks upon them by way of explanation or sugges- 
tion. By this means facts and observations of a valuable kind might 
often be elicited during the customary discussion that follows the 
reading of a paper. The author then exhibited and remarked" upon the 
following species : — 

Miro traversi, Buller. Obtained at the Snares, where HHs compa- 
ratively numerous. It inhabits the Chatham Islands, but has never 
been met with in any part of New Zealand, or on the Auckland, Camp- 
bell, Antipodes, or Bounty Islands. The author offered no explanation 
of this very remarkable distribution. 

Sphenceacus fulvus, Gray. Also from the Snares, where this species 
inhabits the trees, instead of fern -beds and swamp vegetation like its 
near ally (8. punctatus) in New Zealand. The author pointed out 
modifications in structure, apparently the result of this different habit 
of life. 

Prosthemadera novce-zealandice, Gmelin. A very remarkable speci- 
men of the Tui, almost a pure albino, was exhibited, and mention made 
of several other departures from the normal character. 

Platycercus novce-zealandice, Sparrm. A pair from Antipodes Is- 
lands was exhibited, showing a larger mixture of yellow in the plumage 
than ordinary New Zealand examples, and some interesting particulars 
given respecting the local varieties of this highly variable species. 

Gallinago auchlandica, Gray. Of this rare Snipe two specimens 
were shewn from the Snares and two from the Auckland Islands. The 
sexes are alike, but the birds from the former locality are some shades 
darker in plumage than those from the Auckland Islands, and ought 
perhaps to be referred to Gallinago imsilla. 

Tringa camttus, Linn. A specimen of this cosmopolitan species 
(the Common Knot) from Pelorus Sound, just passing into the summer 
plumage, was next commented on. 

Larus novce-hollandice, Stephens. A fine specimen of this bird 
from Otago was shewn to the meeting, and also an apparently new and 
undescribed Gull, which was critically compared with Larus scopidinus 
and Larus bulleri, to bring out the points of difference. 

Ocydromus earli, ■ Gray. An example of the true 0. earli from 
Marlborough was exhibited, and an interesting account given by the 


author of his discovery, that the common Woodhen of the North 
Island, till then supposed to be Ocydromus earli, was really without 
name. Finding, when he looked over the old type-collection of birds 
in the British Museum, that Sir George Grey had been one of the 
earliest and most liberal contributors of specimens from New Zealand, 
he decided to dedicate the species to him, and named it accordingly 
Ocydromus greyi. 

Nycbicorax caledonicus, Gmelin. A very beautiful specimen of the 
Nankeen Night Heron, with white occipital plumes, rolled in the form 
of a queue and fully seven inches in length, was then handed round, 
and gave the author further subject-matter. This bird, presumably a 
visitant from Australia, was shot at the mouth of Catlins River, in 

Diomedea fuliginosa, Latham. The next subject was a nestling- 
Sooty Albatross, remarkable for its thick covering of warm woolly 
down, enveloping the body like a great blanket. 

(Estrelata mollis, GmeLj (Estrdata affinis, Buller ; and Pufflnus 
gavia, Forster. The exhibition of a series of specimens of these 
somewhat rare species was accompanied by a dissertation on Petrels, in 
the course of which some very curious facts were given. 

Puffinus bullerl (so named by Mr. Salvin, the great authority on 
Petrels) and a species of Eudyptes (Crested Penguin), which the author 
had not yet been able to determine, were the last birds noticed. Of 
Pujfinus bidleri, only three specimens are known, one of which is in 
the Colony, and another in the British Museum collection. Of the 
Penguin supposed to be new, the author has lately received two 
specimens from the West Coast Sounds. He concluded his paper with 
an expression of regret that the unique example of Hutton's Black 
Penguin (Eudyptes atratus) had been lost, with many other treasures, 
by the wreck of the " Assaye." 

Mr. Maskell : The remarks made by Sir Walter Buller, who was 
an acknowledged authority on the subject of Ornithology, were most 
interesting, and the specimens exhibited very beautiful. Without 
wishing to make any reflections on the work done by Sir Walter 
Buller, he would like to say a few words regarding the establishment of 
species. It was a rule in almost all branches of science to establish 
what they called species on grounds that seemed to him very unsatis- 
factory, and from his own experience and reading for over twenty years 
he was led to the conviction that scientific works generally were 
ovei loaded with species determined in a very vague manner. This 
applied to all brandies of natural science. Mere differences in colour 
seemed sufficient to account, for thousands of so-called species when in 
his opinion the birds or insects were really the same, but slightly varied. 
He thought it would be quite as correct to say that all bay horses were 
of one species and all black horses another, as to say that birds in other 
respects alike were of different species because they were different in 
colour. Why should science be so loaded up with differences merely on 
account of colour, especially as so few agree as to colour, which depends 
so much on the formation of the human eye 1 If there is any organic 
difference that would be quite another matter. 


Mr. Hudson would like to remind Mr, Maskell that domestic 
productions vary more than those in a wild state, because in selecting 
animals and plants for his use man has always taken those that vary in 
the direction he requires, hence domestic animals and plants have a 
tendency to vary in all directions. 

Mr. Robert Pliarazyn said that the question was lai-gely one of 
experience — there were some branches of science where colour would 
not apply, such as chemistry. In natural history colour would have 
greater weight, but it was really for naturalists themselves to judge 
from experience. If difference of colour proved to be followed by 
difference in structure or habit, then it would certainly be reliable. 
Animals were mxich alike in habit, and it would hardly apply to them. 
We must associate colour with other characters before it can be generally 
used in selecting species. 

Mr. McKay said that colour was often the result of a structural 
peculiarity, and in many instances must be regarded as specific ; 
nacreous and iridescent shells might be mentioned as illustrating this. 
"While believing that colour was never purely accidental, as contended 
by Mr. Maskell, he did not think that colour-spots in all cases could be 
used to determine specific differences. With respect to the occurrence 
of a species of Robin on the Snares and Chatham Islands, but not 
found elsewhere within the New Zealand area, he thought this might 
be accounted for on the supposition that the species had established 
itself on these now separate and distant islands at a time when the 
Snares and Chatham Islands were connected with each other, and 
formed part of a large island which also included New Zealand. 

Mr. Henley thought the establishment of true species was a matter 
that was determined by the instincts of the animals themselves. In the 
cases of tamed quadrupeds, referred to by Mr. Maskell, the animals 
recognised no distinction — to a horse every other horse was also a horse; 
every dog recognised his species in any other dog. If this were not so — 
if gray horses refused to associate with bay horses, and if, except in 
cases of close confinement, horses of the two colours did not cross, they 
might fairly be considered to be two species. If they did not cross the 
colours would be persistent, as a rule, in the offspring. In cases of wild 
animals and birds if individuals different in colour, but seemingly alike 
in other respects, never coupled, the colour alone noted a difference of 
species. Whether this instinct for separate breeding was likely to be 
present in special instances of birds with peculiar-coloured plumage, 
only one or two specimens of which birds had been collected, only a 
specialist was competent to decide, and he would probably base his 
opinion upon points, the cumulative force of which, sufficiently plain to 
himself, he might find it difficult to explain to others. If albinos were 
sporadically produced in sufficient numbers to find albinos for partners, 
and never obtained partners of tbe normal colour of the species, they 
would probably have a large proportion of albinos in their offspring, 
and would soon form a species that he thought all naturalists would 
recognise as such. 

Mr. T. W. Kirk mentioned having seen a specimen of the Nankeen 
night-heron near the mouth of the Pahau river in March last. The 


bird had been slightly wounded, but managed to escape capture. Sir 
Walter had exhibited an albino tui. Now it was well known that 
birds in New Zealand showed a decided tendency to assume abnormal 
plumage. Nor was the peculiarity confined to native species. There 
was in the Museum a black skylark; he had seen several specimens of 
goldfinch exhibiting unusual colours ; and early this year lie had noted 
a sparrow having white wing-feathers, black head, and normal-coloured 
tail, while the whole of the remaining portions were a decided red. 
This specimen lived with a large flock of ordinary sparrows about a 
wool-shed on the East Coast. Could Sir "Walter suggest any theory to 
account for these frequent freaks 1 Also could he explain the reason 
why dimorphic phases of plumage were present in some species 1 

Mr. Richardson pointed out that on the Kermadec Islands the 
mutton birds were so numerous as to form an article of food for those 
who were unfortunate enough to live there. 

(2) "Notes on the Entomology of the Inland Kaikouras," byC Y. 
Hudson, F.E.S. Perhaps one of the most beautiful of the many objects 
that can be seen, on a clear day, from the hills in the neighbourhood of 
Wellington, is Mount Tapueawaeonuku, standing pi-ominent on the 
north-eastern end of the South Island, and having from Wellington a 
south-westerly direction. It had often been my ambition, while col- 
lecting on these hills, to cross the Straits and explore this fine looking 
mountain which appeared so likely to be teeming with new and inte- 
resting insects. How far my expectations were fulfilled will appear 
from the following account of a visit I made to the district, in company 
with a friend, last February. 

Leaving Wellington at three o'clock on the morning of February 
9th, we arrived in Blenheim about midday, l'emaining there until the 
following morning, when we left by coach for Kekerangu, where we 
arrived at five o'clock on the evening of the 11th. The ride is some- 
what uninteresting after leaving Blenheim, the country, which is very 
hilly, consisting almost entirely of tussock-grass. It is absolutely teem- 
ing with rabbits, as many as six or eight individuals being often noticed 
at the same time. The only really striking features on this journey are 
the gigantic escarpments cut out by the Awatere Biver. 

On the morning of February 12th Ave left the Kekerangu sheep- 
station and proceeded straight up the valley for about a mile, where we 
found the stream divided. Here considerable time was lost in taking 
the right-hand branch of the stream instead of the left one, along which 
the track to Mount Tapueawaeonuku goes. In these ravines, which are 
densely wooded on each side, large quantities of Mecyna deprivalis 
occurred, both as larvse and perfect insects. We also observed some 
lovely specimens of Vanessa cardui, an insect that has been unusually 
abundant this year in the Wellington district. About one o'clock we 
left the bed of the stream, near a small galvanised iron hut, and 
ascended the hills to an elevation of 1900 feet. The weather was now 
very gloomy, and we could only obtain occasional glimpses of the moun- 
tains between the clouds, which however appeared very imposing. 
Absolutely no insects were to be seen, and at five o'clock we were very 
clad to reach Coverham. 


Leaving here first thing the following morning, we arrived at the 
Dee Hutt. situated immediately at the foot of Tapueawaeonuku, about 
two o'clock in the afternoon. The weather was wet and miserable, so 
of course no work could be done that day. On Thursday, 13th, we 
made our way for some distance up the bed of the Dee stream, but 
found the travelling very bad. Here we only took a few specimens of 
Chrysophanus boldenarum, which slightly differ from those from Nelson 
and the Wairarapa ; also, two Cicada muta and a few Aclenonyx bembi- 
dioides under stones near the stream. We then attempted to make our 
way on to the hills, but were prevented by the precipitous sides of the 
creek. At 11 o'clock a thick mist came up, which effectually stopped 
all further work for the day. On Friday, 14th, we started at six 
o'clock with the intention of collecting on some of the higher spurs of 
the mountain. After much difficulty we succeeded in attaining an 
elevation of 4600 feet, but the outlook from this point was so extremely 
uninviting that I decided to return. Above 3000 feet Argyrophenga 
antipodum occurred, as well as Cicada cassiope and Notoreas crephos, 
besides a few Cicada muta, veer, sub-alpina. When J say that this was 
by far the best day's collecting Ave had, and that all the above species 
and many others may be taken in great numbers on the Dun Mountain, 
near Nelson, the extremely unproductive nature of the locality may 
perhaps be understood. 

During the two following days I collected in the Dee and Clarence 
Valleys, with the result of one grasshopper, resembling very closely the 
grey stones in the stream, A. bembidioides, Cicindela feredayi, Lyrcea 
alectoraria, a small black Larentia sp. (?) all common and widely distri- 
buted insects. I should also mention that the little grasshopper Calop- 
tenus marginalis occurs in this district, in countless numbers, amongst 
the tussock grass. 

On Monday, 17th, we returned to Coverham. Tuesday. 18th, was 
wet, and on Wednesday we ascended the Chalk Range at the back of 
Coverham. At 2500 feet Argyrophenga antipodum again occurred, also 
Asop>hodes abrogia, besides a small species of Syrphus, the three last 
being the only insects of any consequence taken during the whole 

On Thursday we left Coverham, and on Friday Kekerangu, arriving 
in Wellington at an early hour on Saturday morning. 

In conclusion I must certainly recommend future entomologists in 
New Zealand not to visit the Inland Kaikoura mountains if they wish 
to have a successful holiday. 

Mr. Maskell was well acquainted with this part of the country, 
and he was not surprised to hear that it was such poor ground for the 
collection of insects. Large fires had frequently swept the surface cf all 
growth, and this no doubt would be unfavourable to insect life. 

Mr. Mackay thought that probably the reason why so few species 
of insects were found in this locality was that as high and mountainous 
country this corner of the South Island was of very recent date, and it 
might be that many species had not yet found their way into the region 
in question, or had been there for so short a time that by evolution 
fresh species had not as yet made their appearance. 


Mr. Hulke took this opportunity oi stating that, as agreed upon at 
a former meeting, he had in company with Sir W. Buller waited on the 
Minister of Education to urge the Government to assist Mr. Hudson in 
the publication of his new work on New Zealand Entomology, with the 
result that the Government had agreed to take a thousand copies for 
distribution among the State schools of the colony. He was sure that 
the members would be glad to hear that they had been so successful. 

Mr. Hudson thanked the President, Sir W. Buller, and the 
members generally for the interest they were taking in the production 
of his work. 


Ohristchurch, November 6th, 1890. — Annual Meeting. 

Papers.— (1) "New Land and Fresh Water Shells," by H. Suter. 
(Comnmnicated by the Secretary). 

(2) "Miscellaneous notes on Land and Fresh Water Shells," by 
H. Suter. (Communicated by the Secretary). 

(3) "Appendix to Paper on Drift Formation," by J. Hardcastle. 

(i) "On the occurrence of Struthious remains in a sub-dolerite bed 
of laterite, near Timaru," by H. 0. Forbes, F.R.G.S. (Communicated 
by the Secretary). 

(5) "On the Earthquake of the 27th December, 1888," by G. 
Hogben, MA, 

(6) "New Species of Lepidoptera," by E. Meyrick, F.Z.S., &c. 

The annual report and balance-sheet were read and adopted. The 
following is an abstract : — " During the year seven ordinary meetings 
have been held at which sixteen papers have been read ; which may be 
classified as follows : — Geology, and Palfeontology (5), Zoology (4), Seis- 
mology (3), Meteorology (2), Miscellaneous (2). This shows an advance 
of five in comparison with the number read last year. There is also a 
slight increase in membership compared with last year ; the number 
now on the books being 98, as compared with 86 in 1889. At the 
meeting in May, Mr. J. T. Meeson was elected President in the place of 
Mr. S. H. Seager resigned. Mr. R. W. Fereday was elected Vice-Presi- 
dent in place of Mr. Meeson. There is a credit balance of £24 10s. Id. 

The following were elected officers for the ensuing year : — President: 
Prof. F. W. Hutton, F.G.S. Vice-Presidents : J. T. Meeson, B.A. ; 
T. W. Naylor-Beckett, F.L.S. Treasurer : J. T. Meeson, B.A. Secre- 
tary : R. M. Laing, MA., B.Sc. Council : R. W. Fereday, F.G.S., 
W. H. Symes, M.D., R. H. Webb, F.R.M.S., — Jennings, M.D., G. A. 
Mannering, F. Barkas. 

The retiring President read an address, and the newly-elected 
President dismissed the meeting. 




Petrie's First Geography . .Is. 

Petrie's Geography of New Zealand is. 

Goyen's Complete Arithmetic . <>d. 

Answers to same . . «><i, 

Goyen's Exercises in the Compound Rules Is. fid. 

Answers . 1 S . ii{ \. 

Curnow's Primer of English History . is. 

Thomsons \ew Zealand Ferns . Os. 

The Story of the Otago Church and f Cloth :fc. (id. 

Settlement. By Rev. C. Stuart Ross \ Paper 2s. 

Education and Educationists in Otago. 

By Rev. C. Stuart Ross . . 3s. fid. 

— *~&JZ%r?$f^3^2_j^- ■ 




r «Brare«wagw»MBi^gsaa:>Vjggffg.-^E. .■* 

Mattliews. Baxter & Co., (poneral Printers, Bowling Street, Bunedin 

^2 AUG 

MARCH, 1891. 


No. 2, Vol. I. (New Issue.) 







LI Ml 


Judicio perpende : et si tibi vera videntur 

Dede manus : aut si falsum est, adci/iyere contra 


The Forthcoming "Flora" of New Zealand ... 

Some Notes on the Occurrence of the Trap-door Spider at Lyttelton. Robt 

M. Laing, B.Sc. 
An Edible Fungus of New Zealand 
New Caledonia Nickel Ores. Thomas Mooue 
On the- Discovery of the Nickel-Iron Alloy Awaruite. Prof. G. H. F. Ulbich, 

F.G.S. ... ... ... ... ... 

On the History of the Kiwi. Prof. T. J. Parkeb, F.R.S. 
Botanical Notes. D. Peteie, M.A., F.L.S. ... 
General Notes — ... ... 





Effects of Thunder on MUk— Escallbrua macrantha and Eces— Fertilisation of Native 

Flowers by Honey-bces^-On the Preservation of Solution of Sulphuretted 

• Hydrogen — The Anatomy of a New Zealand Earth-worm— Recent Papers on the 

Natural History of New Zealand— Occurrence of Glow-worms in a Deep Cave — 


Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science 
Notes of the Bleeting 


On the Preservation of the Native Fauna and Flora of New Zealand— The "Bull-roarer" 
of some Australian Tribes. 

Meetings of Societies ... 

Linucan Society of New South Wales. 



Posted — Australia, America, and Britain, 12s. 6d. 


Vol. L, No. 2, N.Z. JOUENAL OP SCIENCE (New Issue) MAECH, 1891. 


Our last issue contained the announcement that there is every 
prospect of the early appearance of a new Students' Flora of the 
colony, from the pen of Mr. Thos. Kirk, F.L.S., of Wellington. For 
the formidable task which he has set himself Mr. Kirk possesses 
many high qualifications, and all interested in the study of the native 
Fowering Plants and Ferns will regard the completion of his work 
with satisfaction. 

Many years ago the Government of the Colony spent a con- 
siderable sum in helping to bring out Sir J oseph PI ooker's well known 
Handbook, and we feel confident that the Government of the day 
will equally recognise the duty of providing the very modest subsidy 
which Mr. Kirk considers a sufficient reward for many years of loving 
and laborious preparation for this work. 

The need of a new Flora will be disputed by no one who knows 
anything about the subject. Not only is feir Joseph Hooker's 
Handbook out of print, and procurable only at a high premium on 
the original price, but since its publication the number of flowering 
plants has been augmented by nearly a third. The description of all 
these new species are scattered through the twenty- two volumes of 
the "Transactions of the N.Z. Institute," and a few other publications, 
and are practically inaccessible to young workers, as well as to all 
who do not live in or near the few populous centres where literary 
and scientific interests are actively cultivated. Nor is this all. We 
greatly need an authoritative revision of the new matter published in 
this sporadic fashion, such as Mr. Kirk, from his wide experience in 
the field and his ripe and extensive knowledge, is well qualified to 
give us. The extraordinarily numerous discoveries that have been 
made in the Hawke's Bay district in recent years evidently demand 
careful reconsideration, an ordeal that may very well result in a 
considerable reduction in the number of new species that will be 
permanently recognised from that district. The same process will 
be applied, doubtless on a much smaller scale, to the recent additions 
from other parts of the colony as well. In discharging this dis- 
agreeable but highly salutary duty to the goddess of Science, Mr. 
Kirk may certainly count on the sympathy and support of most of 
the botanical workers and students in the colony. Judicial revision 
of established species usually falls to the lot of a succeeding generation 
of workers, and this avoids the heartburning and disappointment by 
which the process is likely enough to be attended in the present case. 
We trust that no personal considerations will be allowed to interfere 
with a rigid performance of this scientific duty. 

In compiling a new Flora of a region now fairly well explored, 
many improvements can be made on the arrangement and infor- 
mation in Hooker's Handbook. In the first place the naming of not 
a few genera and species will have to be corrected in consequence of 
the more accurate knowledge we now possess of their history and 
affinities. The genera will be brought into harmony with Bentham 


and Hooker's great work on the " Genera Plantarum," and the errors 
in the naming of species, chiefly caused by the admission of names 
that must give way to prior ones, which have been brought to light 
by the researches of Bentham and F. von Mueller, will be corrected. 
It is important that the synonymy should be fully worked out, but 
in the absence of a large botanical library of reference it may be 
doubted if this department of the work can at present be adequately 
carried out. Difficulties of the same kind will beset another point of 
great importance— the systematic working out of the geographical 
distribution beyond the colony of the genera and species of plants 
native to it. This is a task demanding for its adequate performance 
years of patient and laborious research as well as access to large 
libraries, and it cannot, we fear, be satisfactorily done by any botanist 
resident in our islands. But on the principle that half a loaf is 
better than no bread we shall welcome the incorporation of such an 
account of the facts of floral distribution as can be made out from the 
data available, and trust that in particular all endemic species will be 
noted as such. 

It is usual in the Floras of Great Britain to indicate the 
pronunciation of the names of the genera and species, and Mr. 
Kirk will do well to follow this useful custom. The question of 
giving native or vernacular names by which the commoner species 
are known is beset by peculiar difficulties. In the North Island the 
Maori names are very generally used by those who take an interest 
in native plants, but in the South, chiefly because of the original 
sparseness of the native population these names are little known or 
used. Nor is this the only difficulty, for different popular names are 
attached to the same plant in different districts of the colony and 
even in different parts of the same district. The perversity with 
which the true ' beeches ' have become popularly known as ' birches,' 
and different kinds of ' mapau ' as ' maples '—a popular name which 
includes small trees of widely distinct Natural Orders, is enough to 
fill with despair any botanist who desires to foster a system of 
popular names that will be free from misleading and inaccurate 
suggestions. The Maori names are for the most part free from this 
taint, but the settlers' names often show it in its worst form. Even 
in naming trees of such economic importance as the native pines, 
usage varies not only between North and South, but even within the 
limits of so restricted an area as Otago and Southland. Many of the 
native names are certain to pass into permanent popular use, such for 
example as tutu, rimu, hinau, raupo, ngaio, &c. ; and the sam.3 may 
be said of a small number of settlers' names, such as ^ear-grass, 
ironwood, brpadleaf, pepper tree, &c. But the vast majority of con- 
spicuous native plants are still practically destitute of vernacular 
names, and in fixing names for these, the influence of good judgment 
in selecting suitable names, where such exist, for such a work as a 
new popular Flora can hardly fail to be considerable. In a good 
many cases it should be possible to bring into popular use the 
ordinary generic names of botanists, such as Veronica, Olearia, 
Coprosma, &c, though there are obvious limits to this. Into this 
maze of difficulty and confusion we hope Mr. Kirk's labours will 
introduce some measure of order and light, and pave the way for 
greater improvement in years to come. 


The list of foreign, plants now widely naturalised in the colony- 
is already very extensive, and to be in any way complete a new Flora 
must contain descriptions of these. We do not know whether it is 
the author's intention to include these, but it is plain that their 
omission will detract from the value and utility of his work. Such 
plants as chickweeds, docks, thistles, cat's-ear, horehowud, and numerous 
grasses are now very plentiful in all the settled parts of the country, 
while not a few have invaded purely pastoral country and are as well 
established there, and to all appearance as permanent denizens of the 
country as most of the truly indigenous species. No doubt the 
inclusion of the chief introduced species will considerably swell the 
size of the volume and even add to its cost, but their omission would 
be a blunder of capital importance. 

The geographic range of the species within the colony will cer- 
tainly receive due notice from Mr. Kirk. On this subject his personal 
knowledge is unrivalled, and he will be a churlish worker who will 
not gladly help him with materials for working out the details of 
local distribution with the greatest possible accuracy and minuteness. 
The Handbook contains a great mass of valuable facts relating to 
local distribution ; but the range there assigned to species is not 
unfrequently far wider than subsequent exploration will permit us 
to accept. Poa (triceps, Forst., for example, seems to be unknown in 
the southern half of the South Island, though the Handbook says it 
is the common Poa of the islands ; and many more facts of the same 
kind could be adduced. Mr. Kirk will correct for us errors of this 
kind, and he will also be able to establish a more extended range for 
many species recorded in the Handbook from a single locality or from 
restricted areas. A full and accurate knowledge of range and 
distribution of species will be one of the chief benefits which the new 
Flora will confer on botanical students. Such a knowledge will be of 
the utmost service for clearing up the characters and limits of the 
species in the large and variable genera, such as Veronica, Celmisia, 
Epilobium, and Pittosporum ; it should throw some light on the 
existence or otherwise of hybrids in such variable genera ; it should 
help us to see some little way into the history of the genesis of many 
of the species that now inhabit the colony ; and it should aid us in 
indicating the channels by which particular species have migrated 
from their centres of greatest density. In fact no information which 
the new Flora may contain will have more importance for the 
elucidation of floral biological questions than a full account of the 
facts of local distribution. In this field much still remains for future 
generations to work out, but the few local workers have already 
garnered a harvest of minute information that is as creditable to 
their industry as it is likely to be fruitful in important conclusions. 

There is but one more topic to which we need refer. In the 
preface to the third edition of Sir Joseph Hooker's " Students' Flora 
of the British Islands," he says — " I have ventured to introduce into 
" this edition, under the description of the flowers of various genera, 
"characters concerned in the process of fertilisation, — as, whether 
" wind-fertilised (anemophilous), insect fertilised (entomophilous), or 
" self-fertilised ; also whether honey is secreted in the flower ; and 
" whether the stamens and stigmas ripen together (homogamous), or 


" the anthers first (protrandrous), or the stigma first (proterogynous)." 
We shall be pleased to find that Mr. Kirk has not overlooked this 
very interesting group of characters, which offer special attraction to 
observers, and might lead many to take an interest in elucidating 
questions of this kind without having to acquire any profound 
knowledge of Botany. Mr. G. M. Thomson, F.L.S., has published 
an important paper on the subject, and additional observations have 
been made since it appeared, both by him and by other botanical 
workers. The results of these observations should, if possible, be 
incorporated in the forthcoming work. 

We wish Mr. Kirk a continuance of good health to carry through 
this important work, and substantial support from students of science 
and the Government of the colony. 

SPIDER {Nemesia gilliesii*) AT LYTTELTON. 


This spider seems to be very much more widely distributed, than 
was at first presumed. It has been found in Auckland and Nelson ; 
but I am not aware that it has been hitherto described from Canter- 
bury. Probably a closer search will show that it is common on hills 
and downs throughout the colony. 

At Lyttelton it first came under my notice on a bank in a 
garden beneath some overhanging fruit trees. The ground in that 
situation must have been overturned at least several times during 
the last twenty years ; but the locality seemed to suit the spider for 
I have counted there as many as seventeen trap doors in a square foot 
of ground under a gooseberry tree. However it is also common on 
the hills everywhere about the town from sea level up to a height of 
at least six or seven hundred feet. I have also obtained specimens 
from the neighbourhood of Sumner, Dyer's Pass, and the Bridle-path ; 
and it will undoubtedly be met with elsewhere on the hills. The 
only place on the plains where I have found it is in the Heathcote 
Valley ; but even there it was within a hundred yards of the hills, on 
the side of a dry ditch. 

Unfortunately I have not been able to study the habits of the 
animal so closely as I should have liked to have done ; but there are 
a few points, that I have noted, which may be of interest ; and a few 
others in which I differ from the late Mr. Gillies, in his very full and 
able papert upon the subject. 

Mr. Gillies states that he only once found them on the southern 
or shady side of a slope. "In all other situations," he says, "where I 
have observed them, the nests are always on northern or sunny slopes 
of greater or less steepness, never in stony or rocky ground, and never 

* I have to thank Mr. P. Goyen, Inspector of Schools, for the identification of my 

t " Transactions of the New Zealand Institute," Vol. VIII., p. 222. 


actually in the face of a bank so as to be the cause of the trap-door 
shutting to by its own weight ; but always each nest on a little bit of 
flat, or almost flat ground." 

My observations differ from those recorded here in several 
points. Near Lyttelton the nests are to be found on banks facing 
all points of the compass, and in shady as well as sunny spots. Some 
of the largest I have seen were in a small, moist, open-air fernery, 
overhung by trees, and facing eastward. Again all the ground 
around Lyttelton is more or less stony or rocky, and nests are 
frequently found in places where there are only a few inches of soil 
above the solid bed rock. They are frequently also to be found in 
the face of a bank ; and more often than not their position is such 
that the force of gravity must assist the door in shutting. In fact it 
seems to me doubtful, whether the spider does ever instinctively 
choose or make a flat surface for the commencement of its nest. 

The trap-door is almost invariably concealed, so that it can only 
be detected by a close observer. With practice however the majority 
can be recognised by their external appearance. In many cases the 
mud on the door forms a protuberance slightly higher than the 
surrounding surface. In one case I noticed as much as half an inch 
of soil upon the lid. This is generally of considerable assistance in 
enabling one to discover the nest in the naked soil ; but it often 
occurs that one may suspect the presence of a nest from external 
indications, but cannot be certain of it until the door ims been raised 
with a stick or straw. In ground covered with vegetation their 
discovery is rendered more difficult by plant growths which com- 
pletely conceal the trap-door ; but I cannot think with Mr. Gillies 
that the spider actually plants and cultivates these for the purposes 
of deception. One of the best concealed doors that I have seen was 
covered with moss, and so indistinguishable was it, that it could only 
have been discovered by accident ; but of course there was a bed of 
moss covering the ground for a foot or two all round it. 

With one exception all the doors, that I have found, have fitted 
over the mouth of the nest, and not into it like a cork or plug. 
In the exceptional case the hole was also peculiar, as it was the only 
one that I have seen, which sloped upward from its entrance. The 
majority, (particularly those on the sides of baiiks), make an acute 
angle with the surface on their lower sides, and after continuing in 
the same direction for two or three inches, bend nearly vertically 
downwards. None of any length appear to be straight.. In the 
exceptional case already referred to, the hole was aftewards found to 
be only three inches long, and proportionately narrow. I removed 
the lid and found that on the following day it had been replaced by 
a similar one (i.e. one of the cork type). Unfortunately I did not 
obtain the spider itself. With regard to the renewal of the lid, I 
may say that I have observed it, in several cases. The work is 
generally done in a single night, occasionally in two. Once I observed 
the replacement in the course of a night of more than half a square 
inch of surface, that had been sheared from the side of a nest with a 

My observations with regard to the holes themselves agree very 
largely with those of Mr. Gillies. I found them to be from ten 


inches to a foot in length. The deepest one measured was fifteen 
inches. In order to trace their direction in dry, friable soil, I 
sometimes poured plaster of Paris in at the door ; and I found this 
was of considerable assistance. In this way I obtained two spiders 
embedded in one hole. 

i have observed plugging up of the holes on various occasions ; 
but not to such a puzzling extent as Mr. Gillies has. I am not at all 
sure that it was the work of the spider. In some cases it seemed 
possible that it might have been caused by the washing down of the 
soil from above on to the lid. However I was not able to determine 
definitely that this had taken place in any particular instance. In 
one case on raising a trap-door, the mouth of the nest beneath it was 
found to be completely closed by a layer of cobweb. This was on 
March 28th, 1890. On the 13th April, on examining the same hole, 
I found a small opening in the web, but not large enough to admit of 
the exit of the spider. This small aperture had probably resulted 
from stress of weather, or some other natural causes. Being afraid 
that it might increase, and thus definite proof of the continued 
confinement of the spider might be lost, I dug out the nest, and 
found its owner at the bottom, at the depth of a little more than a 
foot, in a comatose condition. I kept this spider in an empty bottle 
for some hours, but it remained motionless, and it was not till it had 
been in spirits for a minute or two that it commenced to move*. It 
can scarcely have been a case of hibernation as the season was not 
far enough advanced for that ; and the spiders certainly remain 
active until the end of June. Whatever may be the explanation of 
these closed nests, they are not unfrequently to be met with, and 
certainly require further investigation. 

On the other hand, inhabited nests without doors of any kind, 
are sometimes to be lound. A number of such occur on a hill slope 
on the east side of Mt. Pleasant, at an elevation of six or seven 
hundred feet. In the locality referred to the surface of the ground 
is covered to the depth of an inch or two with loose sticks and dried 
leaves, that have fallen from coprosmas and other shrubby plants 
growing near. Here several lidless nests were discovered coming up 
through the dead twigs. The spider had probably found it impossible 
to attach its door to the loose sticks ; but in some cases, as a slight 
protection, the web was turned over at the edge and carried along 
the twigs for the distance of half an inch all round. A spider was 
taken from one of these holes : and where the ground was free from 
leaves close at hand, trap-door nests of the ordinary type were found. 

I have only a few remarks to offer as to the habits of the animal. 
I have not seen them outside of their nests during the day. 
Apparently they seek their food only by night. After dark one 
evening in March, 1890, I took a light into the garden, and on 
approaching a particular trap-door that I had frequently noted before, 
I saw it quickly shut down through the space of about one-sixth of 

* (I am informed by a friend in the Oamaru district, that he has frequently seen 
trap-door spiders running along the ground, pursued by a small, black wasp — probably 
a species of Fompilus. These wasps sting the spiders, and by this means render them 
comatose. In this condition they are stored up in the wasp's nest, and serve as food 
for the larva. This may be the explanation of the fact mentioned by Mr. Laing. — 


an inch. On coming back to the same spot a minute or two after- 
wards, I found the door open to the same extent as before, and the 
body of the spider could be seen indistinctly beneath it. I caught a 
moth and killed it, and put it up towards the hole on the end of a 
stick. It was instantly seized and drawn in by the spider, and the 
door was completely closed. On raising it, the spider was seen with 
its prey an inch or two down the hole ; but it speedily retreated still 
further. I repeatedly made similar experiments with this spider and 
one or two others. On one occasion I fastened the body of a 
specimen of the same species firmly to a stick and put it up towards 
the door of a nest. The owner of the nest came out and tugged at 
the stick, hi a way that could be distinctly felt ; but finally getting 
alarmed it retreated. 

I watched several spiders until the middle of June, when change 
of residence put an end to my opportunities. They could always be 
seen peering out from beneath their doors after dark; and apparently 
were not at all alarmed by the light, nor at my presence, for they 
have frequently come out of their nests to seize an offered fly, and 
have remained out for several minutes. Apparently it is their habit 
to watch for insects from the inside of their doors, and dart out and 
seize them as they approach. They do not appear to come outside, 
except to seize their prey. 

In addition to Nemesia, Migas distinctus and a probably un- 
described species of Ariadne, both ground spiders, are to be found on 
the Lyttelton hills. The latter occurs at an altitude of 1,000 feet, in 
holes of an inch or two in length, one-quarter of an inch in diameter, 
without lids, and lined with a dense layer of white web. This spider 
takes advantage of cracks in the face of a bank for the commencement 
of its nest, enlarges them a little, and weaves a cylindrical web 
inside. They do not appear to be very common. 

There are many problems of interest awaiting solution with 
regard to the distribution and habits of these spiders ; and any one 
who lives in a neighbourhood where they occur will find in them a 
very interesting study. 


(Hirneola ijolytricha, Montagne).* 

For some years an edible fungus, a product of the New Zealand 
forests, has become an important article of commerce between that 
colony and China. The fungus belongs to the same genus as the 
European Jews'-Ear (Hirneola Auricula-judce), a tough but gelatinous 
fungus formerly in reputation as an ingredient of gargles. The 
New Zealand fungus now under notice (Hirneola polytricha), is well 
described by W. Colenso., F.R.S., in the "Transactions of the 
Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society, 1884-85 " : — 

* "Kew Bulletin,' October, 1890. 


" Hirneola polytricha was first made known to science by Mon- 
tagne as belonging to this genus, and as being an inhabitant of the 
East Indies and J ava, though, like our two other species, it was first 
published as belonging to the closely allied genus Exidia, there being 
but a very small natural difference between these two genera. This 
species is thus briefly described by Berkeley (translated and abridged 
from iMontagne) : 'sub-hemispherical, cup-shaped, expanded, lobed, 
densely villous externally with grey hairs, disk purplish-brown.' 

" It is of various sizes and, I might also add, of shapes ; some 
measuring a few inches, and when wet filling a large teacup or small 
basin ; a large dry specimen weighing only 1\ drams. It is found 
growing on the trunks of many trees, both on living and on rotten 
ones (especially on the latter while standing), particularly on 
Corynocarpuss Icevigata and on Melicytus rami/iorus, both of these 
trees being endemic as to genus as well as to species. The former 
tree is mostly confined to the sea-shore, where it often forms dense 
and continuous thickets. In such situations it is generally of small 
size, but when standing apart it is of much larger dimensions, and 
not unfrequently in suitable spots it wears an imposing appearance 
from its large, green, and glossy persistent laurel-like leaves. The 
latter tree is scattered plentifully throughout the country, and the 
fohage of both being evergreen, they are eagerly browsed on by 

"The only market for this fungus is China. From official 
information obtained from Hongkong, we find that it is largely used 
by the Chinese in soups with farinaceous seeds, and also as a 
medicine, being highly esteemed. The Chinese have long been in 
the habit of using another species of this same genus that is 
indigenous in North China, and also of importing another species 
from other isles in the Pacific ; so that the use of this kind of fungus 
as an article of food is not new with them. Who can say in this 
article of food, that Western pride may not again have to learn 
something more from this ancient, highly-civilised, and much-injured 
people ? 

"At first, and for some time, our New Zealand fungus was only 
exported in small quantities. The demand, however, rapidly in- 
creasing, and the article being plentiful and obtained at little cost, 
save the easy and untaught labour of gathering and drying it, its 
export rapidly increased. The drying of it, if collected damp, was an 
easy matter — merely spreading it in the air and sun till dry, which 
soon takes place, when it is roughly packed in sacks, and if kept dry 
keeps good and sound for a very long time. The price paid to the 
collectors for it was originally small, only Id. a pound; at this figure 
it remained for some time. It is now nominally 2Jd. in some places, 
which sum, however, is often paid in barter*, it is said to be sold in 
the China shops at about lOd. or more retail. I am not aware of the 
actual price obtained by the exporter, but we find that its declared 
value at the Customs has ranged from £33 to nearly £53 per ton, 
which no doubt is much under the real value. 

* I should, however, mention that in the spring of 1883, a large paity of Maoris 
residing on the West Coast, near Mount Egmont, who had foi some years been 
collecting and storing fungus there, sold the lot to an Auckland agent and dealer, but 
took the total sum, upwards of £425, in hard cash. 


"During the last twelve years no less that 1,858 tons of this 
fungus have been exported, valued at £79,752, as is more particularly 
shown in the following return, which I have compiled from sources 
published in the Government statistical papers : — 



Declared Value. 

1'ons. Owt. 
























59 5 



183 12 



187 11 



339 17 



250 6 


1,858 11 79,752 

"I should observe that the official entries show that those 
exports are confined to the Northern island, and only from two 
ports there — viz.,Auckland and Wellington — except some small lots 
amounting to 7 tons, exported from Poverty Bay and Napier in the 
last two years, 1882 and 1883. The fungus, however, may have been 
extensively collected in the districts containing those two larger 

In order to test the value of the New Zealand fungus as an 
article of food, a supply of it was recently obtained for Kew, by Mr. 
Thomas Kirk, Chief Conservator of State Forests, Wellington, N.Z. 

. A portion of this supply was submitted for analysis to Professor 
Church, F.R.S., who has been good enough to furnish the following 
interesting note : — 

Hirneola polytricha. 
" A sample of this fungus, in the air-dried condition as received, 
was prepared for analysis by careful brushing and the removal of a 
few fragments of obviously foreign substances. It gave the following 
percentages : — 

Water ... ... ... ... 17-0 

Albuminoids (calculated from total Nitrogen) .. ... 6'8 

Carbohydrates, digestible ... ... ... 70 '5 

Carbohydrates, indigestible ... ... ... 1*9 

Fat (Ether extract) ... ... ... 1"5 

Ash ... ... ... ... 2-3 

A few remarks as to these figures will prove useful in appreciating 
the food-value of this fungus. First of all the nitrogen present does 
not all exist in the form of albuminoids. The coagulable albuminoids, 
as estimated by the phenol method, amount to 5-4 per cent. ; the 
remainder of the nitrogen occurring chiefly as amides, is not nutritive. 
If this result be accepted, the proportion of albuminoids to digestible 
carbohydrates plus the starch — equivalent of the fat, becomes 1:13-7 
instead of 1 : 10 9, as shown by the per-centages recorded above. 
Anyhow, this fungus is singularly poor in albuminoid or muscle- 
forming substances, and differs remarkably in this respect from the 
numerous edible fungi of which analyses have been previously made. 
In these analyses we find at least twice or thrice as much albuminoid 
matters, often more. 


"The substance or group of substances which. I have called 
" digestible carbohydrates " contains neither starch, nor inulin, nor 
cellulose. Its chief constituent is a gum-like body apparently allied 
to bassorin and well worthy of further examination. It swells up 
greatly in water and is soluble in dilute warm solutions of caustic 
alkalies. Its solutions gelatinize on cooling. I have observed what 
seems to be the same compound in other species of fungi, and it is 
probable that it has been described under several different names. 
The fungus now being discussed contains so large a proportion of 
this body that it presents a very convenient material for its isolation 
and the study of its composition and properties. 

" The ash of this fungus is rich in potash and phosphoric acid. 
Of the former constituent the ash contains no less than 42-02 per 
cent. ; of the latter 20-02. These proportions are exceeded in the 
ash of other species ; moreover, the amount of ash in one hundred 
parts of this Hirneola is much lower than that recorded for other 

" (Signed J A. H. Church." 



Amongst the many ore deposits and formations of this island 
few are probably of greater interest, either from a chemical or 
commercial point of view, than those of nickel. The nickeliferous 
ore commonly known as garnierite, is almost invariably found either 
in, or at least in close proximity to, those huge masses and mountains 
of serpentine which form a characteristic feature of the place, and 
are as diversified in their extent as in their richness, With but one 
or two exceptions it is found only on elevated positions, often at the 
very summits of these mountains, not unusually accompanied by 
chrome iron ore, and surrounded by a peculiar red earth rich in iron, 
which by being alternately deluged by the rains and baked by the 
sun has become hardened together into a compact mass. The 
nickeliferous mountains present a very bare, sombre and uninviting 
appearance ; vegetation is extremely sparse and scanty, and the few 
stunted shrubs growing there seem only to intensify the barrenness 
of the dull and monotonous region, contrasting strangely with the 
profuse tropical growth on the lower levels. The colour of the ore 
varies from the blue green in the poorer specimens to a warm dark 
green in the richer, and passing by almost imperceptible shades to a 
light brown, and, finally, to a fine chocolate colour. The rich ore is 
generally a mechanical mixture of apparently homogeneous green or 
brown substance, with rounded pebbles of serpentine, forming a kind 
of agglomerate, or it is interstitially deposited between thin layers of 
quartz, steatite, and various hydrated silicates of magnesium. 

Miners recognise three varieties of the ore, i.e. quartz rich green, 
magnesia rich green, and the brown ore. The first is characterised 

* " chemical News," October 10th, 18y0. 


by the large amount of silica it contains, generally as minute 
glistening crystals of quartz, or in the amorphous condition. The 
magnesia ore contains only a small quantity of quartz, but a very 
considerable amount of magnesium silicates, and has a paler green 
colour than the former. The brown ore is the least common variety, 
is -very soft, and as a rule contains only small quantities of quartz 
and magnesia, but much ferric oxide. Generally speaking, however, 
they are classified into the green and the brown minerals. 

From time to time analyses of the ore have been published, 
leading to a variety of formula? with this feature only in common, chat 
it is a hydrated silicate of nickel, in which the nickel is replaced to a 
greater or lesser extent by magnesia or oxide of iron. Perhaps the 
various complicated and somewhat contradictory formulae devised 
may be accounted for by the difficulty in obtaining pure pieces, and 
that the finely intermixed quartz may have escaped observation, thus 
giving a percentage which does not truly represent the combined 
silica, but rather that of silica + quartz, for pieces of the ore which to 
the eye appear thoroughly homogeneous in the great majority of 
cases give an amount of insoluble silica varying from 2 to 10 per cent. 
Nevertheless, I have frequently observed that those ores containing 
much magnesia give differences in analysis which do not agree 
relatively to any distinct formulae, but seem rather to indicate a 
mixture of silicates ; as, however, the magnesia diminishes, these 
differences are gradually reduced, and the composition then becomes 
more constant, and more closely complies with the calculated 
numbers, except for the combined water, for which ] have been 
unable to find a constant factor. Having excellent opportunities 
for procuring pure specimens, and from the many hundreds of 
analyses made of the same, there seems to be no doubt that both 
kinds of ore approach very nearly to hydrated sesqui-silicates of 
nickel giving a formula of 7 NiO, 6 Si0 2 , x H„0, part of the nickel 
in the green ore being replaced by magnesia, oxide of iron, or 
alumina, the magnesia predominating, whilst in the brown the oxide 
of iron is in excess. The following carefully executed analyses of 
both ores give only the amount of soluble silica, as in those cases 
when quartz was present it has been calculated out : — 







Si0 2 





35 'SO 




44 94 












F ei 3 







A1. 2 3 






Cr. 2 3 











— ' 



H 2 





8 00 


100-45 100-15 99-89 100-02 100-91 100-11 

Nos. I and 2 represent the composition of the green ore. The colour 
is a fine brilliant grass-green. Hardness, 2-3. Specific gravity, 3-00. 
Streak light green, waxy lustre, and slightly translucent at the thin 
edges. Before the blowpipe the colour darkens, becoming dark olive 
green ; in presence of much ferric oxide, red. 

Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 give the composition of different brown ores. 
The colour varies from light brown to a deep sometimes slightly 
translucent chocolate ; streak yellow or brownish yellow ; the fracture 


is conchoidal, with a very strong resinous lustre. Hardness and 
specific gravity about the same as the green ore, and rather more 
brittle. The very light brown species (No. 6), bear a great resem- 
blance to limonite, and are so soft as to be easily marked by the nail. 
They, however, do not appear to belong to the same class of cres 
as mentioned above, as the silica fluctuates with the nickel and 
magnesium oxides, and is sometimes very low, as little as 5 per cent, 
being not unusual. A fact worth noting in connection with oxide of 
iron deposits is, that although containing oxide of chromium up 
to 8 per cent., they are easily and entirely soluble in warm dilute 
hydrochloric acid. 

Exposed to the action of the weather all these ores gradually 
crumble to a powder, the brown exhibiting this to a more marked 
extent than the green. They are easily dissolved by hot hydrochloric 
acid, and the silica which separates out does not take the gelatinous 
condition. Up to the present no trace of crystalline character has 
been found, although some magnesia-rich specimens occasionally 
present an appearance similar to asbestos. 

Thio, New Caledonia, July 20th, 1890. 







In October 1885, Mr. W. Skev, Government Analyst, read a paper 
before the New Zealand Philosophical Society, Wellington, announcing 
the discovery of a Nickel-Iron Alloy, which he recognised as a new 
mineral species and named " Awaruite." The discovery was made in a 
collection of minerals sent to the Government Laboratory by Mr. 
Macfarlane, the Warden of the Jackson's Bay District, which includes 
Big Bay (Maori name, " Awarua"), Barn Bay, and other Bays in that 
part of the West Coast of the South Island. Mr. Skey found the new 
mineral as small grains or scales in a sample of heavy black sand, 
reported as saved by alluvial miners in Barn Bay ; and he gave in his 
paper, besides descriptions of the physical character of the alloy and 
its mineral associates, interesting particulars concerning its behaviour 
towards a solution of cuprous sulphate acidulated with hydrochloric 
acid, and its quantitative chemical composition as: — Ni=67'63, Co = 
0-70, Fe = 31-02, S = 0-22, Si0 3 =(H3; Formula = 2Ni + Fe ; Sp. Gr. 
= 8d ; Hardness about 5. He considered the alloy as the second of its 
kind, of terrestrial origin, so far discovered, under the impression that 
the known Nickel-Iron " Oktibbehite " (Ni + Fe), which is a meteorite 
found in Oktibbeha City, North AmericaT, was the first alloy of this 

* From the "Quarteily Journal of the Geological Society," for November 1890, 

Vol. xlvi. 
t Wadsworth's " Lithological Studies," Table II., page xiv. 


kind of terrestrial origin ; and he also suggested that the mineral would 
be found in some basic rock in the vicinity of Barn Bay. Mr. Skey's 
paper appeared in the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute for 
1885, and was reprinted with some additions in the Annual Report, for 
1885-86, of the Colonial Museum and Laboratory, Wellington. The 
additions concerned the results of Mr. Skey's examination of other three 
samples of heavy black sand : namely, No. 1, from Barn Bay, contained 
no Awaruite ; No. 2, from Callery's Creek, contained 4 °/ o , and No. 3, 
from the Gorge River, 45 - 36 %. Amongst other minerals sent with 
the samples of black sand Mr. Skey mentions a hydrous ferruginous 
serpentine ; and in a footnote he states " this serpentine proves to be 
the matrix of the nickel-mineral Awaruite, in which it is dispersed in 
minute grains, in the same manner as metallic copper occurs in 
serpentine in Aniseed Valley near Nelson." 

On seeing the notices about Mr. Skey's first paper (October 1885), 
giving full particulars regarding discovery, composition, <fec, of the new 
mineral, in the daily newspapers, and being cognisant of the fact of 
Oktibbehite being a meteorite, and therefore Awaruite not being the 
second (as Mr. Skey supposed), but really the first nickel-iron alloy of 
telluric origin, a fact that greatly heightened the scientific interest 
attaching to it, I at once communicated with some friends at Hokitika 
and Ross on the West Coast, and was successful in procuring, through 
their agency, a small parcel of the nickeliferous sand. In order to gain 
information regarding the special locality of occurrence of the alloy, and 
what was of most importance, about the nature of the rocks in the 
vicinity from which it was likely to be derived, I also wrote to Mr. 
Gerhard Mueller, Chief Surveyor, Hokitika, and Mr. D. Macfarlane, 
Warden of Jackson's Bay, two men to whom before all others belongs 
the credit of having by dangerous explorations procured nearly all the 
reliable information we hav^ of the topographical and geological features 
of that wild part of the West Coast in which the new mineral was 

Mr. Mueller kindly responded by furnishing me with a copy of the 
topographical plan of the country under notice, which he had prepared 
from his surveys and explorations, and also with his Report thereon ; 
while Mr. Macfarlane was good enough to inform me that the Red-hill 
mountain-complex and the Olivine Range, depicted on Mr. Mueller's 
plan, largely consisted of olivine-rock, which he was the first to 
recognise as such, and on account of which Mr. Mueller adopted the 
name Olivine Range. Regarding my request for specimens of the rocks 
from the locality where Awaruite occurs, he intimated his intention of 
shortly making a journey through the district, when he would specially 
collect for me the specimens asked for. This journey did not, however, 
take place, and no further information was received until the beginning 
of May 1886, when two of my students, Messrs. Henderson and 
Butement, submitted to me a small collection of rocks and mineral 
specimens which during the early part of the year they had brought 
from an exploring-trip extending from the head of Lake Wakatipu 
across the Dividing Range and through the Red Hill district down to 
the west coast of the Island. They had spent several weeks in 
exploring the wild, inhospitable region of the Red Hill, an enterprise 
only rendered possible through the fortunate circumstance that just 


at that time a well-equipped party of gold-prospectors were camping on 
the Red Hill, at a height of nearly 3,000 feet. To one of them, Capt. 
Malcolm, I am in<le'oted for sevei-al rock-specimens mentioned further 
on. The collection mentioned, owing to difficulty of carriage, consisted 
mostly of chips and small pieces, amongst which varieties of peridotite 
and serpentine claimed most attention. The several specimens are 
more fully described in the sequel. They were obtained in various 
places on the Red Hill Range, along the red-weathered outcrop (hence 
the name " Red Hill ") of the peridotite ; but those of the serpentine 
varieties come principally from the slope of the range, falling towards 
the Jerry River, a tributary of the Gorge River. One of these latter 
specimens, of thin lamellar (antigorite-like) structure, was found to be 
impregnated with fine specks, of silvery-white colour and metallic 
lustre, which on examination proved to be the new mineral Awaruite. 
In most of the other serpentine specimens whitish metallic-looking 
specks were also discovered, but they all turned out to be pyrite, 
except in one piece of common dark green serpentine, which yielded 
after crushing and washing, from amongst a small amount of pyrite 
powder, a small hackly gram of the alloy. 

Up to the time of this discovery of the matrix-rock of the Awaruite 
nothing was known or had been published about a similar discovery 
by anyone elsewhere* ; but in answer to a letter I wrote to Mr. 
Macfarlane, pointing out the discovery and asking for any specimens of 
peridotite and serpentine he might have preserved from his previous 
explorations, he informed me that he had also noticed the metallic 
specks and would send a number of specimens containing them. These 
I received some months later, but found only two specimens (dark- 
green serpentine) with unmistakeable Awaruite in them, the metallic 
specks in the remainder proving to be pyrite. Considering the great 
scientific interest attaching to the discovery of the mineral and its 
matrix combined, because of the apparent close relationship of the 
occurrence to certain of the stony meteorites, and apprehending the find 
in danger of being quite overlooked, from the fact that, although made 
public in New Zealand nearly a year previous, no notice of it had up 
to that time appeared in " Nature " and other English and foreign 
scientific journals of eminence. I wrote letters to a number of dis- 
tinguished authors, specially interested in the study of the peridotite 
rocks in England, America, and Germany, giving the main particulars 
of the occurrence of the mineral and the results of Mr. Skey's work. 
The President of the Geological Society at that time, Professor Judd, 
being one amongst the number, considered my communication of 
sufficient interest to be brought before the Society, and announce:! at 
the same time my intention of submitting a paper regarding the 
discovery, providing I was successful in procuring more detailed 
information about the geology of the country in which it was made, 
and more material to work upont. In pursuance of this project I have 

* Mr. Skey's footnote to his second paper in the " Annual Report of the Colonial 
Museum and Laboratory," quoted in the foregoing, appeared several months after my 
find liei-ame known. 

t In the "Abstract of the Proceedings " of the Society at that Meeting, Quart. 
Journ. Geol. Soe. vol. xliii. 1887, Proceed, p. 3, the credit of having discovered the 
Awaruite is given to me, no doubt through some misunderstanding, whilst Mr. Skey, 
as the analyst and namer of it, is not mentioned ; and it is further stated that I 
consider Awaruite and the meteorite Oktibbehite as identical in chemical composition. 


since written to and interviewed a number of persons who, I thought, 
could aid me in the matter. The results of these endeavours have not, 
however, T am sorry to say, come up to my expectations, owing to loss 
and damage of specimens sent to me, and various other mishaps. Thus 
my hope that some, from amongst quite a little army of prospectors 
(about 150 men) who, aided by the Government, landed towards the 
end of 1886 in Big Bay, would collect and send specimens was quite 
disappointed, as not one of the party penetrated as far inland as the 
Bed Hill. In fact they soon became so dissatisfied with the hard work 
of exploring the rough country that they hurriedly left the district in 
troops, and very soon after not one of them remained In 1887, I was, 
however, gratified in receiving from Mr. Macfarlane a larger sample of 
the Awaruite-bearing sand from the Gorge River, together with portions 
of a serpentine pebble of nephritic aspect, containing small specks of 
Awaruite. During the same year, and again in 188tf, an intrepid, 
enterprising prospector, Mr. Robert Paulin, with several hired men, 
traversed the Bed Hill district in various directions, prospecting the 
rivers and creeks ; and from him I received last year, besides a few 
more specimens of serpentine and other rocks, some valuable notes, 
accompanied by a sketch-plan of the district, indicating the distribution 
of the Awaruite and the extent of the peridotite and serpentine rocks. 
The several small rock-samples so far enumerated, of which the collection 
brought by Messrs. Henderson and Butement was the most diversified 
and important, have thus been all the available material to work upon ; 
whilst regarding the general geological structure of the country, and 
more especially the mode of occurrence and extent of the peridotite 
and derived serpentine rocks, I can oidy give an imperfect outline, 
gathered from the reports and notes received from Mr. Gerhard 
Mueller, Messrs. Henderson and Butement, Mr. Macfai lane, Capt. 
Malcolm, Mr. Paulin, and several other persons I met since who have 
traverse! the district. 

Begarding the general geological structure of the country it is 
reported that the ranges from near the sea-coast inland to the ice-clad 
Dividing Bange, except where broken through by the peridotite and 
derived serpentine rocks, consist of metamorphic schists (gneiss, mica- 
schist, and chlorite-schist) with occasional massive protrusions and 
probably large dykes of granite and quartz porphyry. Judging from a 
few small specimens obtained from Mr. Paulin, the granite is medium- 
grained and rather felspathic (felspar fl 'sh-coloured), with principally 
dark mica ; whilst the gneiss and mica-schist are of ordinary character, 
showing also mainly dark mica. Where the spurs from the high 
ranges do not directly dip steep into the ocean, massive deposits of 
sandstone and shale and in some cases limestone, of probably older 
Tertiary age, overlie the old rocks along the coast to pretty high up the 
easy slopes of the spurs ; whilst down the main river- valleys, mostly r 
on both sides, descend extensive high terraces of boulder-drift and hard 

In consequence of these mistakes Sir James Hector, the Director of the Geological 
Survey of New Zealand, in a letter in the March number of ' Nature ' 1887, casts a 
suspicion of piracy upon me regarding the discovery of the mineral, and accuses me of 
ignorance as to the second point, although perfectly innocent on both these charges, as 
my letters to Professors Judd, Bonney, and others can prove. I have iievertheiess 
considered it necessary to lay before the Society the foregoing succinct statements of 
facts relating to the matter, which will afford the explanation which Sir James Hector 
says the case requires. 


conglomerates, of morainic character in the higher parts of the valleys. 
Jn the embouchures of the rivers there are generally bars or delta-like 
accumulations of more recent drift. The prospecting of the terrace- 
drifts for gold and tracing the gold to its original deposits (quartz-reefs) 
was the main object of the large prospecting party previously referred 

Coming now to the peridotite and serpentine rocks, the following 
extracts are of importance. The Chief Surveyor*, Mr. Gerhard Mueller, 
in his report of his explorations*, states on this head as follows : — "The 
most remarkable feature about the district appears to me to be that of 
the Olivine Bange on the East of Cascade River. It is a red and 
violet looking mass, and, from about 1,000 feet above the river, devoid 
of almost every vestige of vegetation. It is of the same formation 
of which the Cascade Plateau and a great part of the country of the 
Gorge and Jerry valleys consist. The Red Hill (5,000-6,000 feet) 
itself is olivine- rock, whilst the spurs running therefrom are a sort of 
greyish slate with grey granite belts here and there through them. An 
extraordinary red granite belt is seen in the Jerry River a little above 
the proposed road-crossing. The olivine formation is traceable as far as 
tha Humboldt Mountains; the last indication of it I saw on the low 
saddle, from which the Barrier and Olivine Branches (Creeks) and the 
Hidden Falls Creek rise; the extent of it there does not exceed a couple 
of acres, but is very marked and distinct." In a letter to me, August 
1st, 1889, Mr. R. Paulin, in explanation of his sketch-plan, states : — 
"The Bed Hill formal ion (olivine and serpentine) occurs all over the 
parts I have marked with red lines. The Red Hill and Olivine Ranges 
are for the most part bare of timber, and the formation is very 
conspicuous, owing to the burnt-brick colour which the rock assumes 
where exposed to the atmosphere. Both the Olivine and Hope Ranges 
are very much broken and shattered, containing no mass of rock that 
has not cracks in all directions. This is not so much the case in the 
Red Hill Ranges." 

From these extracts it will be seen that the rocks under notice 
compose, in the region of the Awaruite discovery, a complex of high 
massive ranges, the most prominent of which are the Red Hill and 
Olivine Ranges, and which comprise an area of about 25 miles in length 
north and south, and 16 miles in width east and west. The rocks, 
however, doubtless extend (probably wilh interruptions and for certain 
much contracted in width) much further southward, even beyond the 
point Mr. Mueller u\< ntions near the Humboldt Mountains (about 6£ 
miles S. by W. from the junction of the Barrier Creek with the Pyke 
River). What leads to this conclusion is, that Messrs. Henderson and 
Butement saw conspicuously bare and red-coloured mountains and 
ridges (like those of the Red Hill Range) further southward, near 
Lake Harris Saddle, the wateished between the Route Burn (a tributary 
of the Dart Biver falling into Lake Wakatipu) and the Hollyford 
River; and that they found boulders of olivine rock and serpentine in 
one of the creaks rising near that saddle and falling into the Hollyford 
Biver. Still another important proof is that at the head of the Caples 

* Report on West Coast between Cascade Plateau and Jackson's River on the 
North, and Lake M'Keirow and Hollyford Valhy on the South ; in the "Report of 
the Survey Lepaitrr.ent of N.Z. for the year 1883-84," p. 73. 


Eiver (about 22 miles S. of the junction of Barrier Creek and Pyke 
Kiver) there occurs in massive outcrops a dark-green serpentine, closely- 
resembling that of the Red Hill and enclosing veins and bunches of 
compact talc (steatite). 

With regard to the geological relations of the peridotite and 
serpentine rocks to the enclosing crystalline schists, there can be no 
doubt, according to Messrs. Henderson's and Butement's observations 
that the former are intrusive through the latter ; several places having 
been observed by them where the strike of the schists was right against 
the peridotite and serpentine outcrops. 

Among the specimens- from the Cascade River at the foot of the 
Olivine Range ai*e pieces of a hard nephrite like serpentine (bowenite 1), 
containing small specks of Awaruite embedded in it. The specimens 
are evidently portions of rolled pebbles. 

The first sample of the Awaruite-bearing black sand examined by 
Mr. Skey was supposed to have come from Barn Bay ; but it was 
subsequently proved to have been washed from the drift of the Gorge 
River. The valley of this river has since generally been considered to 
be the only place of occurrence of the mineral, and is, indeed, the one 
in which it has so far been proved to exist in largest quantity. Mr. G. 
Mueller, the Chief Surveyor, in answer to my enquiries on this point, 
states : — "The mineral is found in the bed and the banks of the Gorge 
River, and the ground covered by the mineral-leases applied for with 
the view of working the nickel is marked in red on the lithograph-plan 
enclosed. These deposits have evidently been brought across the 
saddle into the Gorge River from the Olivine Range at the back 
of it." 

As, in considei'ation of the large extent of the peridotite or serpen- 
tine rocks, it seemed to me very unlikely that the occurrence of the 
mineral should be confined to the Gorge River only, I specially 
requested Mr. R. Paulin, before he set out on his exploring and pros- 
pecting trip, to look OTit for the alloy in the olivine and serpentine 
rocks and the drift of the rivers and creeks he prospected. In his 
explanatory letter to me he states as follows : — " I have found small 
specks of nickel in the rocks of various localities, most conspicuous at 
Silver Creek (a tributary of the Jerry River rising in the Red Hill 
Range), and I think that it occurs throughout the whole formation. 
The tree nickel found in different river-beds is much coarser than any 
T have seen in the stone. On the Red Hill itself I found nickel 2,400 
feet above the sea-level." The area of distribution of the Awaruite is 
thus by Mr. Paulin's observations proved to be far more extensive than 
first imagined, and it may be larger still, for I see nothing um-easonable 
in his belief that the mineral occurs impregnated in the matrix thi'ough- 
out the whole extent of the peridotite and serpentine rocks ; and, 
inferentially, in the liberated state in the drifts derived therefrom. 
The gradual gathering of practical proof of this, however, will, I fear, 
take a long time, owing to the great hardships and dangers connected 
with prospecting in that wild, inhospitable district. The supposed 
recognition of Awaruite distributed through the rock will also, in many 


cases, not be free from doubt, unless tbe specks be detached and 
specially tested. This is on account of the smallness of the specks, and 
their frequent association with, and general resemblance in colour to, 
grains of pyrite, which may therefore be easily mistaken for it. The 
simplest test in the case of detached specks is by application of the 
magnet, which energetically attracts the Awaruite specks, but leaves 
those of pyrite unaffected. The malleability of the specks affords 
another proof of their identity. 



The development of the brain presents some points of interest- 
The brain of birds closely resembles that of reptiles, differing 
chiefly in the fact that owing to the increased size of the central 
hemispheres and cerebellum the optic lobes which in reptiles lie in 
contact with one another on the upper surface of the brain, are pushed 
outwards and come to lie, widely separated from each other, one on 
each side. 

In the embryo of the kiwi, as in that of other birds, the brain is 
at one stage precisely like that of a reptile, having a pair of large 
optic lobes closely applied to one another, on the upper surface. As 
development goes on the optic lobes gradually separate from one 
another and take up a position on the sides of the brain, the 
cerebellum and cerebrum at the same time uniting between them. 
At this stage, therefore, the brain is precisely like that of an 
ordinary typical bird. Later on the eye undergoes a relative 
dimunition in size, the optic lobes also become smaller in proportion 
to the remaining part of the organ, and being overgrown by the 
cerebrum come to lie in the adult on the under surface of the brain, 
where they form a pair of insignificant elevations. It may also be 
mentioned that, apart from the optic lobes, the brain of Apteryx is by 
no means of a low type ; the cerebral hemispheres are, in fact, as 
large in proportion to the brain as in a passerine bird. 

So far, it will be seen, the study of the development of the kiwi 
certainly tends to show that its relation to ordinary or carinate birds 
is closer than would be expected from a study of the adult anatomy. 
There is, however, one very striking point of divergence. 

The " tail " of a carinate bird consists of a variable number of 
tail-quills, covered above and below by smaller feathers or tail-coverts, 
and arranged in a half-circle round the true tail of the bird — the 
small conical projection known as the " parson's nose " or uropygium. 
In order to support these feathers the last few vertebra? are united 
into a strong conical mass or " ploughshare bone." In the kiwi 
there is never any trace of tail-quills, the uropygium being from its 
first formation to adult life a naked stump quite devoid of feathers. 

Continued rom page 9. 


Nevertheless a true though small ploughshare-bone is formed by the 
fusion of two or three vertebra;. As the only function of this bone is 
to support the tail-quills its presence in Apteryx seems to indicate 
that the ancestors of the bird had tail-quills to be supported. 

On the whole it will be seen that the study of the development 
of the kiwi tends to lessen the gulf between it and ordinary birds, 
and to show that its ancestors probably possessed many of the more 
important and distinctive features which characterise the Carinatse of 
to-day. The facts clearly indicate that the founder of the Apterygian 
house had interrupted plumage, functional wings, an ordinary avian 
tail, a keeled sternum, a double-headed quadrate, lateral optic lobes, 
and a pecten in the eye, in other words that the ancestors of the 
genus were typical flying birds and not bird-like reptiles. It would 
seem, therefore, that the facts tell strongly against hypothesis (I) of 
the origin of the Ratitse (diagram p. 5*). 

As to the relative probability of hypothesis (2) and (3) we have 
unfortunately only detached observations on the development of the 
other Ratitse, and have therefore to rely mainly upon comparative 

Of the eight characters enumerated above (p. 3), as separating 
the Ratify from the Carinatse it will be noticed that the first five are 
directly connected with the power of flight. We should expect to find 
such adaptive characters in purely cursorial birds whether they arose 
from a common stock or sprang 1 separately from early flying birds, 
and as a matter of fact they occur to a greater or less extent in such 
flightless birds as the Dodo, Weka, Notornis, etc., which we know 
have no genetic connection with one another, but have independently 
acquired the characteristics of Sightlessness. I think, therefore, that 
the possession of the characters referred to, by the whole of the 
Ratitae is no argument for the common origin. 

The peculiarity of the quadrate has been shown to be a secondary 
matter, and we have left only the characters of the base of the skull. 
These certainly form an excellent diagnostic character by which the 
whole of the Ratitse are separated from the majority of the Carinatae, 
but even here the distinction is not absolute for the Tinamous 
approach in many respects more nearly to the Ratitse than to the rest 
of the Carinatse. Still it seems probable that the various genera of 
Ratitae must have diverged from the main line of descent at a 
comparatively early period, though perhaps not earlier than some of 
the existing orders of Carinatse. The Penguins, for instance, are far 
more reptilian in their vertebral column and less typical in the 
structure of their wings than the Ratitse. The Ostrich, however, 
shows the unique and very reptilian character of two claws on the 
wing, and the very general presence of wing-claws in the group is a 
distinctly primitive character. 

Leaving the skull, in which the whole group shows primitive 
characters, and the wing and related parts in which the resemblances 
between the genera are largely adaptive, we find the range of 
variation in the Ratitse to be very great indeed. Two genera (Apteryx 
and Dinornis) have a normal 4-toed foot; in three others (Cassowary, 

* In this diagram (top of p. 5) the letter r should be placed above the origin of the line 

leading to Ratitce. 


Emu, and Rhea) the hind-toe or hallux has disappeared ; while in 
another (Ostrich) only two toes are left. The pelvis of the kiwi and 
moa is of the simplest avian type, both pubis and ischia being free ; 
in the cassowary and emu the ischium unites with the ilium ; in the 
rhea the ischia unite with one another above the intestines — a unique 
arrange aoent; in the ostrich the pubis unite to form a sympophysis 
as in most of the higher vertebrates. The feathers have an after- 
shaft in the emu, cassowary and moa, none in the ostrich, or rhea, or 
kiwi. In no order of carinate birds do we find such a wide range of 
variation as this, and when we add to the characters enumerated the 
extraordinarily aberrant skull and the structure of the egg-shell of 
Apteryx, the total atrophy of the wings in Dinornis, and even of 
the shoulder- girdle in some species of the genus, and the striking 
differences between the sterna, the shoulder-girdle, and the wings of 
the various genera, we are forced to the conclusion that the existing 
or lately extinct cursorial birds now known to us are divisible into 
five well marked orders, each the equivalent of an entire order of 
Carinatas. Of these one order contains the ostrich alone, another the 
rheas, a third the emu and the cassowaries, a fourth the moas, and a 
fifth the kiwis. 

As to the relation of the kiwi to the other genera it has been 
shown to be most nearly allied as far as its skeleton is concerned, to 
the moa, differing from it however in many important respects. It 
must certainly have been isolated at a very distant period, and as far 
as we can see some of its more striking peculiarities are distinctly 
correlated to its method of feeding. Most nocturnal animals have 
large eyes suited for taking the utmost advantage of the semi- 
darkness, but the kiwi, finding its prey by scent alone, has developed 
an extraordinarily perfect olfactory sense, while at the same time, 
having no need to keep watch against beasts of prey, its eyes have 
diminished in size and efficiency to a degree elsewhere unknown in 
the bird class. 



Carmichwlia compacta, D. Petrie. This is by far the most showy 
of the ' native brooms ' found in the South Island, and is hardly 
inferior in appearance to the beautiful C. odorata, Colenso, of the North 
Island. It has a strong and very agreeable scent, and in this respect 
has no rival in the genus. This species is well worthy of cultivation as 
an ornamental under-shrub, bub I have had no success in my attempts 
to raise it from seed. A light sandy soil suits it veiy well, and in its 
native valleys it nowhere grows so luxuriantly as in such situations. 

Tillcea purpurata, Hook, f. This species, hitherto known in our 
colony only from the North Island, has now been found in Otago. I 
gathered numerous young specimens in the neighbourhood of Pembroke 
(Lake Wanaka), in the last days of November of last year. It is a 
very small species, and from its inconspicuous character easily over- 


looked. No doubt it has a wide distribution over the South Island, 
and may be looked for in spots where temporary pools form in wet 

Accena Buchanani, Hook, f. In the " Handbook of the New 
Zealand Flora " this species is said to have a single stamen I have 
long had doubts as to the accuracy of this statement, and an exami- 
nation of a considerable number of specimens, gathered in the original 
habitat, shows that the number of stamens is constantly tioo. It has 
also two styles. The yellowish-green hue of the leaves, usually so 
characteristic of the plant in the valleys of the Upper Clutha, does not 
hold in other localities such as Spear Grass Flat and Ida Valley. I 
make this statement on the supposition that the species of Accena from 
the latter localities is A. Buchanani (Hook, f.), as I have every reason 
to believe that it is. 

Rhipogonum scandens, Forster. After examining a large series of 
the fruits of the ' supple-jack ' I find that the berry is frequently 
3-seeded with all the seeds of the ordinary size, and occasionally 
4-seeded, in which case one or two of the seeds are smaller than usual. 
I have not had opportunity to examine the ovary, which is doubtless 
3-celled, though more than one ovule must now and then occur in some 
of the cells. This point is well worth working out, and I hope some 
naturalist living near a piece of virgin bush will undertake its 

Salicornia indica?, Will. In this our common littoral 'glass-wort,' 
some of the flowers are hermaphrodite. The perfect flowers are, I 
think, proterogynous. The mimber of stamens is constantly two. 
Many flower spikes are, I believe, purely pistillate without a trace 
of stamens, and in these the mature cones are smaller than those found 
on the hermaphrodite spikes. It would be well if these observations, 
made at Dunedin, were checked in some other part of the colony. 

Gratiola nana, Bentham. In this species the stigma is bi-lamellate, 
and the lamella? are very sensitive. When touched with the tip of a 
blade of grass they close at once. The movement begins very promptly 
and is, I think, confined to the inferior plate, which rises up so as to 
press against the immobile superior one. Most likely the lighting of 
pollen grains on the stigmatic surface would suffice to initiate the 
movement of closing, and its significance would in that case lie in 
its rendering the escape of pollen impossible. When mechanically 
irritated the closure of the lamellae is not persistent but passes off in a 
few minutes. 

Proterandry in the Gentians. I have always found the flowers of 
Gentiana montana, Forst., G. pleurogynoides, Griesb., and G. saxosa, 
Forst., strongly proterandrous. The stigmatic lobes are closely appressed 
and too immature for fertilisation when the pollen is shed from the 
anthers. This would prevent a single flower from fertilising itself, but 
it would not preclude different flowers in the same plant from fertilising 
one another. The extrorse position of the anthers is doubtless another 
adaptation for making self-fertilisation difficult. 

Plagianthus Lyallii, Hook, f. This species of ' ribbon-wood ' was 
formerly ranked in the genus Hoheria, A. Cunn., and there seem to be 
good reasons for doubting if that is not its proper position. Bo this as 


it may, it is certain that the styles are not " stigmatifeixms towards the 
apex along the inner face." The stigmas are constantly capitate, 
without a trace of the decurrence of the stigmatic surface along the 
style. The number of styles is twelve or by abortion less. When they 
are fewer than twelve, rudiments of the deficient styles are nearly 
always to be found. The perfect fruit has twelve compressed carpels, 
and I have never found this number exceeded. Three or more of these 
are usually barren, but in a perfect capsule the twelve are very plainly 
recognisable. These peculiarities do not accord well with the generic 
character of Plagiantlms. and the plant is evidently on the border-land 
between Hoheria and that genus. If our plant is still to be ranked as 
a Plagiantlms there seem to be very scanty reasons for maintaining 
Hoheria as a genus distinct from Plagiantlms. This small tree is one 
of the most beautiful of the native shrubs. It is now pretty freely 
cultivated in private gardens in Dunedin, and is greatly admired for 
its copious clusters of scented flowers that look quite as gay as cherry- 
blossom. The season of flowering is Christmas time It is easily 
propagated by cuttings, but seedlings are difficult to get, as the seeds 
are very generally eaten by the larva of some small insect. The seeds 
of Hoheria pojrulnea, A. Cunn., are attacked in exactly the same way, 
probably by the same larva, and this is perhaps an additional reason 
for considering the plant a Hoheria rather than a Plagiantlms. 

Lepilcena, sp. Some years ago Mr. Thos. Kirk, F.L.S., noticed 
the occurrence of this genus in New Zealand. I have reason to think 
that our species is distinct from any of those found in Australia, and I 
propose for it the provisional name of Lepilcena monandra. It is very 
abundant in many fresh and brackish waters of Otago. 

Sciropus (Jsolepis) basilaris, Hook, f. This rare species, which has 
until recently been found only in one locality in Hawke's Bay, is 
now found to occur in Otago, near Coal Creek (Roxburgh). I have 
repeatedly collected it about a mile and a half to the north of Coal 
Creek on the road to Alexandra South, but until last year I was unable 
to get the fruit, and was thereto' e uncertain about its identification. 
Though previously known only from low levels it will probably prove a 
sub-alpine plant, and be found in many localities between Otago and 
Hawke's Bay. 

Zannichellia palustris, L. Though this species is given in the 
Handbook it has recently been suspected that Sir Joseph Hooker had 
mistaken the indigenous species of Lepilcena for it. This, however, is 
very improbable, as the true Zannichellia palustris L., grows in the 
lagoon at Waikouaiti, where I gathered it at the end of January last. 
The presence of a male flower at the base ot the pistillate one, and the 
curious obliquely peltate stigmas at once distinguish it from the 
disecious Lepilcena. 



Effects of Thunder on Milk. — A thunder-storm is generally 
believed to he a bad thing for a dairy. An Italian savant, Professor 
G. Tolomei, has made some experiments on the relation of electricity to 
the souring of milk. He found, according to The Boston Medical and 
Surgical Journal, that the passage of an electric current directly 
through the milk not only did not hasten, but actually delayed 
acidulation ; milk so treated not becoming sour until from the sixth 
to the ninth day, whereas milk not so electrified became markedly 
acid on the third day. When, however, the surface of a quantity of 
milk was brought close under the two balls of a Holtz machine, the 
milk soon became sour, and this effect he attributes to the ozone 
generated. — (" Science.") 

Escallonia Macrantha and Bees. — This plant is very extensively 
grown about Dunedin both as an ornamental shrub and as a hedge-row 
plant in gardens. This season it has flowered profusely and has been 
visited by swarms both of humble- and honey-bees. These insects, 
however, appear seldom to visit the flowers in a legitimate manner, 
and consequently it almost never matures its ovary with us. The five 
red petals have long parallel claws standing edge to edge, and in very 
close contact except near the base where they are sufficiently separated 
to leave a narrow cleft. The bee lights on the side of the flower with 
its head directed towards the base of the calyx, and thrusting its 
proboscis between the petals, sips out the abundant nectar without 
ever touching either stigma or anthers. ' Bees appear to be so apt to 
learn dodges from one another, that all those in one neighbourhood may 
apparently acquire a habit which is not known elsewhere. It would be 
interesting, therefore, to learn whether the above mode of extracting 
the nectar from Escallonia flowers is universal, or whether it is only 
local.— G. M. T. 

Fertilisation of Native Flowers by Honey-bees. — Out of the 
large number of plants indigenous to these islands, it is surprising how 
few of them are visited by hive-bees. I have kept a record for a long 
time past of all the flowers on which I have seen bees, and have also 
received from the members of the Otago Beekeepers' Association a 
list — accompanied by specimens — of the plants on which they have 
observed bees. The following is a tolerably complete list of those from 
which honey is collected in the neighbourhood of Dunedin : — 

Clematis indivisa (probably for pollen only) ; White Mapau — 
Pittosporwm eugenioides ; Black Mapau — Pittosporum tenuifolium ; 
Mako-mako — Aristotelia racemosa ; Hina-hina — -Melicytus ramiflorus ; 
Fuchsia excorticata ; Lawyer — Rubus australis ; Kowhai — Sophora 
tetraptera ; Manuka — Leptospermum scopariwm ; Celmisia coriacea ; 
Myrtles — both Myrtus obcordata and M. pedunculata ; Convolvulus 
tuguriorum (for pollen only) ; Veronica traversii and Veronica sali- 
cornioides. I shall be glad to have records of any others. — G. M. T. 

On the Preservation of Solution of Sulphuretted Hydrogen. 
— On the 15th November last, I published in the ''Chemical News" a 
note on the use of glycerin in preserving sulphuretted hydrogen in 


solution. The experiments I quoted showed most conclusively that 
glycerin is most beneficial in this way, and it occurred to me that 
certain other analogous substances would probably act in a similar 
manner. I have made rough qualitative trials, which prove this to 
be the case. About five months ago I sealed up bottles containing 
respectively — 

(a) sulphuretted hydrogen water 

(b) sulphuretted hydrogen water with sugar 

(c) sulphuretted hydrogen water with salicylic acid. 

I have opened these to-day, and find that solution (a) gives no reaction 
with lead acetate and is entirely free from odour ; whilst solutions (b) 
and (c) have a strong odour of the gas, and yield copious precipitates 

with lead acetate The amount of sugar used was 2 

per cent., and of salicylic acid 1 per cent. — A. J. Shilton, E.C.S., in 
" Chemical News " of 10th October, 1890. 

The Anatomy of a New Zealand Earth-worm. — In a notice of a 
paper " On the Homology between Genital Ducts and Nephridia in the 
Oligochasta," by Frank E. Beddard, M.A., Prosector of the Zoological 
Society, presented to the Royal Society on November 27th, the 
following occurs, (Nature of 4th December) : — 

" I have lately had the opportunity of studying the development 
of the New Zealand species Acantliodrilus multiporus. The sum of 
money which the Government Grant Committee of the Royal Society 
were good enough to place at my disposal has enabled me to defray the 
expenses of this investigation. 

" Tn the young embryos of this worm each segment is furnished 
with a pair of nephridia, each opening by a ciliated funnel into the 
segment in front of that which carries the dorsally placed external pore. 
In later stages the funnels degenerate, and that portion of the tube 
which immediately follows the funnel becomes solid, losing its lumen ; 
at the same time the nephridium branches, and communicates with the 
exterior by numerous pores. At a comparatively early stage, four 
pairs of gonads are developed in segments X.— XIII. ; each of these is 
situated on the posterior wall of its segment, as in Acantliodrilus 
annectens, and not on the anterior wall, as in the majority of earth- 
worms. When the gonads first appear, the nephridial funnels, with 
which they are in close contact, are still ciliated, and their lumen is 
prolonged into the nephridium for a short distance. Later the cilia 
are lost, and the funnels increase greatly in size, while those of the 
neighbouring segments — in fact, all the remaining funnels — remain 
stationary for a time, and then become more and more degenerate. 
The arge funnels of the genital segments become the funnels of the 
vasa differentia and oviducts ; it will be observed that the number of 
ovaries and oviducal funnels (two pairs) at first corresponds to that 
of the testes and sperm duct funnels ; subsequently the gonads and 
commencing oviducts of segment XII. atrophy. Each of these large 
funnels is continued into a solid rod which passes back through the 
septum, and then becomes continuous with a coiled tuft of tubules, in 
which there is an evident lumen, and which is a part of the nephridium 
of its segment. In the segments in front of and behind the genital 
segments, the rudimentary funnels communicate in the same way with 


a solid rod of cells which runs straight for a short distance and then 
becomes coiled and twisted upon itself and provided with a distinct 
lumen. In fact, apart from the relative size of the funnels and the 
presence of the gonads, it would be impossible to state from which 
segment a given section through the terminal portion of a nephridium 
had been taken. In a later stage the large funnels of the genital 
segments become ciliated, but this ciliation takes place before there is 
any marked change in the tube which is connected with the funnel. 

" In the young worm which has just escaped from the cocoon the 
funnels are ciliated, and they are each of them connected by a short 
tube, in which a lumen has been developed, but which ends blindly in 
close proximity to a coil of nephridia. No trace of any nephridial tube 
other than the sperm duct or oviduct could be observed, whereas in the 
preceding and succeeding segments the rudimentary nephridial funnel, 
and a straight tube leading from it direct to the body wall, was 
perfectly plain. Dr. Bergh has figured, in his account of the develop- 
ment of the generative organs of Lumbricus, a nephridial funnel in 
close contact with the funnel of the genital duct. It may be suggested 
that a corresponding funnel has been overlooked in the embryo 
Acanthodri/us ; the continuity of a structure, identical (at first) with 
the nephridia of the segments in front and behind, with the genital 
funnels, seems to show that a search for a small nephridial funnel 
would be fruitless. 

"I can only explain these facts by the supposition that in Acantho- 
drilns multiporus the genital funnels and a portion at least of the 
ducts are formed out of nephridia. This mode of development is a 
confirmation, to me unexpected, of Balfour's suggestion that in the 
Oligoclneta the nephridium is broken up into a genital and an excretory 

" In the comparison of the facts, briefly described here, with the 
apparently independent origin of the generative ducts in other Oligo- 
chseta, it must, be borne in mind that in Acanthodrilus the segregation 
of the nephridium into several almost detached tracts communicating 
with the exterior by their own ducts precedes the formation of the 
genital ducts." 

Recent Papers on the Natural History of New Zealand. — 

Maskell, W. M., " Icerya Purchasii, and its insect-enemies in New 

Zealand." Entom. Monthly Mag. (2). Vol. I., No. 1, p. 17-19. 
Hudson, G. V., "The life-history of Himaethis combinata, Walk." 

Entom. Monthly Mag. (2). Vol. I , No. 1, p. 22-23. 
Hudson, G. V., " On the flight of Atta antarctica.'' Entom. Monthly 

Mag. (2). Vol. I.. No. 1, p. 23. 
Smith, W. W., " On Mecyna polygonalis, Treitschke, in New Zealand." 

Entom. Monthly Mag. (2). Vol. I., No. 2, p. 51-52. 
Meyrick, E., " Mecyna polygonalis, Tr. in New Zealand." Entom. 

Monthly Mag. (2). Vol. I., No. 3, p. 87-88. 
Hudson, G. V., " Abundance of Vanessa cardui in New Zealand." 

Entomologist, Vol. 23, Apr., p. 133. 

Occurrence of Glow-worms in a Deep Cave, — Mr. A. Pbilpott 
of Mt. Linton station sends the following interesting note 011 the 
occurrence of glow-worms in the limestone caves near Clifdeu station, 


Waiu river, Southland. He visited the caves in November last, with 
two companions. He says : — " Having visited the cave, we were 
returning and were within a few chains of the mouth wben one of us 
noticed a light at the end of one of the numerous alleys running off 
from the main cave. Thinking it was an outlet from the cave I went 
towards it, but as I drew nearer, the light became smaller changing 
from a pale yellow to blue, till when I had got right up to it, it 
appeared as a small but brilliant blue spot and I saw that it proceeded 
from a worm which seemed to be fixed to the wall by a few silken 
threads. Near it was a second worm, but I do not remember whether 
it emitted a light or not. The worms were about one inch long, flesh- 
coloured, and light apparently came from near the head. They seemed 
to have the power of putting out the light at will, for after I had 
regained my companions no light could be seen. The change in the 
colour of the lighted may have been due to my approaching it with a 
lighted candle. 

Humble-Bees. — Mr. L. Cockayne of Dilcoosha, Styx, near Christ- 
church, who is well known as a collector of Alpine plants, and a 
cultivator and introducer of European Alpines, sends the following 
notes of plants visited by humble-bees, in addition to those mentioned 
in Mr. Thomson's paper, p. 16 : — 


Aquilegia chrysantlm. 
Nigella damascena. 


Papaver alpinum. On the red-flowered, but never on the 
white variety. 
Bartonia aurea. 
Argemone mexicana. 
Bocconia cordata. 


Erodium manescavi. 
Geranium pratense. 


Spircea, two shrubby species. 

Hi/bus idceusjl. pi. One of the few white-flowered plants on 

which humble-bees have been observed. 


Centaur ea oMstriaca. 
Dahlia Juarezi, and its varieties. 

Helianthus multiflorus. The flowers of this species of Sun- 
flower intoxicate the bees. 


Mcotiana affinis — another of the white flowers visited. 


Linaria anticaria. 
Linaria macedonica. 



Dracocephalum Ruprechti. The bees are very fond of the 
flowers of this plant, the nectar of which completely intoxicates 
or stupefies them. Mr. Cockayne says : — " I took three bees 
off the flowers at the same time, all in a helpless state, and 
pnt them under a tumbler. In an hour's time one had 
recovered and was able to fly away, another died during the 
day, and the third was, on the next day, as weak as when 

Mrs. Mason of Paradise, Glenorchy, reports that since the cutting- 
down of the broom — which was almost the only plant visited in that 
district, humble-bees have not been seen this season until very recently, 
when one or two have been observed on the flowers of the honeysuckle. 

To the list given in my paper on p. 16, I have to add the 
following : — 


fligella damascened. 


Dianthus Jimbriatus. 

Gladiolus, a crimson hybrid. 


Tradescantia virginica, on the blue, but not on the white- 
flowered variety. 

On all these only small bees were seen, and these sparingly. — 
G. M. T. 




The third meeting of the Australasian Association was opened in 
Christchurch, on Thursday, 15th January, and was formally brought to 
a close on the 22 nd. From every point of view the meeting was 
a success. The arrangements were excellent throughout, numerous 
matters of great interest were brought forward and discussed in the 
various sections, the attendance of members and their friends was very 
good, while the kindness and hospitality of the people of Christchurch 
made the stay of the visitors very pleasant. Not only were there 
numerous eminent representatives from all the Australian colonies, but 
the meeting was honoured by the presence of Professor Goodale, 
Professor of Botany in Harvard University, and President of the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science, which body had 


commissioned him to convey fraternal greetings to the Australasian 
Association. To crown all the weather was favourable, by no means 
too warm, and characterised by the absence of the hot winds which had 
been so prevalent throughout the earlier part of the summer. The 
Canterbury College Board of Governors had placed the College, the 
Boys' High School and the School of Art at the disposal of the local 
committee. All the various section rooms were therefore in such close 
and convenient proximity, that members could step out of one and into 
another, without that waste of time and energy which seemed to harass 
visitors so much at the Melbourne meeting. The credit for carrying 
the meeting to such a successful issue is mainly due to the local 
secretary, Professor Hutton, who appears to have spared no trouble to 
bring things into complete order. Everything went like clockwork 
from start to finish. 

On the opening day the first meeting was that of the General 
Committee, under the chairmanship of Baron F. von Mueller, the 
retiring President. A very enthusiastic vote of thanks was passed to 
Professor Hutton for his services as local secretary, and to Professor 
Liversidge as general secretary. 

The following were appointed office-bearers for the 1892 meeting: — 
President, Sir R. Hamilton (Governor of Tasmania and President of the 
Royal Society of Tasmania) ; General Secretary, Mr. Alex Morton ; 
General Treasurer, Mr. H C. Russsell, C.M.G., F.RS. (Sydney); 
Local Secretaries, Professor Baldwin Spencer (Victoria), F. Wright 
(South Australia), J. Shirley (Queensland), Profess~>r Parker, F.R.S., 
Otago University (New Zealand). 

It was resolved to hold the fifth meeting in Adelaide, the date of 
it to be fixed at the Hobart meeting. The report of the Committee 
appointed to draft a revised code of laws for the Association was 
brought up, and the proposals for amendment were distributed amongst 
the members of the Committee for consideration. 

In the afternoon Sir James and Lady Hector received the members 
of the Association and their friends in the grounds of Christ's College. 

In the evening the annual public meeting of the Association was 
held in the Provincial Council Chamber, an elegant and suitable room, 
which was crowded in every part. The chair was occupied by the 
retiring President, Baron von Mueller. He was supported on his 
right by his Excellenc} 7 the Governor, and on his left by Sir James 
Hector, the President-elect. 

Baron von Mueller having introduced his successor to the meeting, 
vacated the chair, which was then taken by Sir James Hector. 

His Excellency the Governor then said : — Sir James Hector, 
ladies and gentlemen, before proceeding to any further business this 
evening I am going to ask your permission to say a few words of 
welcome to those who are strangers in our midst. Upon the occasion 
of their visiting New Zealand I think nothing strikes the English 
visitor to the colonies more than the constant recurrence of institutions 
similar to those which he has left behind him in England. He finds 
that the colonies have grafted on to their social system those institutions 
which the experience of nine centuries has enabled England to bring to 
their present perfection. At the same time you have carefully striven 


to prevent, and at their first appearance to uproot, those evils from 
■which the Mother Country has not yet been able to free herself. Thus 
you find the same beautiful forms of Divine worship in Christchurch 
Cathedral, in your churches and chapels, as we have at Home. The 
youth of all classes have the advantages of elementary education as they 
have at Home, with this difference, that here it is without direct cost 
to the parents, who are relieved of the charge of their children during 
the troublesome years of infancy, and who, by leaving them at school 
till riper years, may obtain for them something more than an education 
which is elementary. You have public schools on the lines of those of 
Eton and Harrow, to whose agency illustrious statesmen and warriors 
have attributed much of England's pre-eminence among nations ; and 
you possess richly endowed institutions for training adults, not only in 
intellectual pursuits, btrt also in those arts which enable men to subdue 
the wilderness, and to make the earth bring forth her increase. Let me, 
in passing, pay a warm tribute to the valuable work carried on by the 
University of New Zealand, whose career and position, both in respect 
of curriculum and number of students, compare favourably with the 
older institutions of Sydney and Melbourne. The ladies present will 
not forget that recognition is due from their sex to the liberal-minded 
action of this University in having been the first to open its doors to 
women students by conferring on them equality with men in the matter 
of degrees. On the other hand, you have not allowed that great social 
question which is convulsing Europe, the disposal of the indigent poor, 
to become a source of discontent and disturbance. You have avoided 
the pauper workhouses where the State grudgingly gives a maintenance 
to the aged life-long worker, under conditions the least agreeable in life 
lest any should be found to wish to go and do likewise. What wonder, 
then, that such an institution as the British Association should have its 
counterpart in Australasia, an Association eminently fitted to nourish 
in such communities as these, removing science from the pursuit only 
of the few and marking the democracy of knowledge, by sympathy 
begetting knowledge and adding again to sympathy. You have chosen 
as your place of meeting this year the colony over which I have the 
honour to preside in the name of her Majesty, and, in my dual capacity 
as the Queen's representative (for does not your very name denote a 
bond ot Imperial unity in its purpose 1 ?), and as the mouthpiece of this 
important community, I bid you a hearty welcome to our shores. If a 
layman may express an opinion on such a point, I would say that I 
think the selection has been eminently a wise one, and that there are 
reasons why this meeting should be the most interesting yet held by 
the Association, for in New Zealand you may find objects of scientific 
interest which will, I believe, amply repay you for your voyage of 
1,200 miles, as I have found them repay my less cultured mind for its 
voyage of 12,000. Certain I am that no word of regret ever fell from 
any member of the British Association that that Association should 
have transferred its sphere of operations in 1884 from Great Britain to 
one of the younger members of the British Empire ; and, if in Canada, 
why, at some future time, with our present improved steam com- 
munication, should not the British Association meet in Australia, or 
even in New Zealand? On that occasion, Lord Landsowne, Governor- 
General of Canada, commented on the difficulty with which Science 
would have to contend in competing with material activity in a young 


country. No doubt the leisured class is less numerous, till recently 
had no existence in the colonies, and is of slow growth, being constantly 
depleted by those who, having earned their leisure, choose to spend it 
elsewhere. There is much truth in his remark ; but, on the other 
hand, the outdoor life of a very large section of the community is 
conducive to a knowledge of and interest in Nature and Natural 
History. The toil here is not so unremitting or so unremunerative as 
in other older communities, and more spare moments can be devoted to 
the observation and study of living forms and natural features. It is 
in this respect I apprehend that you welcome among you so large an 
admixture of the popular, or, it I may so distinguish it, " lay " element, 
and especially may I say of ladies whose time is likely to be more at 
their own disposal, and who can take an active and seemly interest in 
scientific research. I venture to think that the Association should 
urge upon this "laj r " class particularly, the value, not only of the 
acquisition and diffusion of knowledge, but also of scientific method. 
Scientific method is of special value in these days, because information 
is so easily acquired from text books, popular lectures, and magazine 
articles, that people are tempted to plume themselves on the possession 
of scientific knowledge, whereas they are in reality acquiring slipshod 
habits of thought and study. Moreover, with more careful direction 
their talents might enable them to act as guides and instructors in 
science to those who must be trained from its elements. Again, in a 
country like New Zealand, where there exist so many new varieties of 
life, how desirable is accuracy of observation ; what to observe, when to 
observe, and how to take notes of our observations, are habits specially 
needful of acquisition. It is better to err on the side of noting some- 
thing which may have been already observed, than to risk missing an 
opportunity of contributing information concerning the structure and 
habits of those plants and animals as to which science is still in a state 
of infantile ignorance. Although our President is a gentleman of the 
first rank in the field of scientific research, and although we have 
among us many eminent men who devote themselves to the study of 
various phenomena, there are many problems still unsolved. But we 
entertain high expectations that the assembling of so many men of 
science from other parts of the world will illumine our efforts to fathom 
some of the mysteries with which nature has surrounded this, to us, 
new world of life. I think, ladies and gentlemen, that both in respect 
of scenery and natural phenomena you will find much that is not only 
interesting, but unique, in New Zealand. No matter to which special 
branch of science you may have devoted yourself, you will find 
something to study in New Zealand, and in New Zealand alone. 
Meteorologists will find something remarkable in the diversities of 
climate over a country containing from semi-tropical Auckland to 
antarctic Southland, but 100,000 square miles. They will note the 
action produced on the rainfall by our great central range of Alps, and 
the wonderful difference within a few miles in the vegetation and 
appearance of the country. On the western side dense green forests, 
and on the eastern side vast brown plains ; aud they will, perhaps, be 
able to explain to us why Cook's Strait has earned the reputation of 
being the blast-pipe of the Pacific. The naturalist will have ample 
opportunity to study the marvellously successful results of acclimati- 
sation. The Australian members will be specially interested to compare 


whether chose results have been most successful here or on the 
Continent in the cases of the rabbit and the sparrow. Interesting and 
curious also are our deep sea fish, such as the frost fish, which never 
allows man to catch it, but which occasionally offers himself as a 
voluntary saciitice on the gastronomic altar. As regards New Zealand 
quadrupeds, the labours of the naturalist will be considerably lightened 
by the knowledge that but one existed, and that that one is believed to 
be extinct. He may, however, be able to enlighten us as to the 
true character of the vegetable caterpillar, which, going into the 
ground a grub, ought, according to European ideas, to emerge as a 
perfect insect, but in a very antipodean fashion, appears to become a 
plant instead. The ornithologist, under the able guidance of Sir 
Walter Buller, will be able to study our so-called wingless birds, and to 
tell us what prospect they have, now that men and dogs have come to 
chase them, of recovering the use of those limbs of which long desuetude 
appears to have deprived them ; and whether there is any chance of 
curing the kea of his acquired taste for sheep fat, which has turned a 
comical and interesting parrot into one of the anathematised class of 
native pests. The botanist should revel in our wealth of ferns and 
alpine plants, and may perhaps decide for us whether that complete 
illustration of parasitical growth, the rata, initiates its all-devouring 
embrace as a suppliant at the feet of its victim or round the neck of 
the devoted object of its affection. Also, may not our farmers look to 
the botanist for some help in the pursuit of agriculture, to learn 
something new of plant life, of suitability of soils and of insect pests, 
so that not only our moral but also our material position may be the 
better for this meeting. The geologist will find an opportunity for 
•studying the effects of volcanic eruption, of which Tarawera offers an 
example hardly to be equalled within easy reach of civilisation. The 
Australian mineralogists may find an opportunity for comparing their 
mo:e continuous auriferous reefs with our rich but sadly broken strata 
in New Zealand. The palaeontologists will find a curious remnant of 
otherwise extinct reptiles in the Tuatara lizard, and, close at hand, in 
the admirably arranged Museum at Christchurch, materials for a study 
of the extinct moa Possibly they may give us some contribution to 
the controversy respecting the co-existence in New Zealand of that 
gigantic bird with man. The anthropologist will find in the Maories a 
most interesting example of the advanced civilisation of a Native race, 
and will be able to witness, not only the effects of their participation in 
the advantages enjoyed by Europeans, but also the results of an 
admixture of the races in all classes of society. Statisticians and social 
economists at Home will look with interest for some fresh light on the 
interesting thoughts suggested by Mr. Ravenstein at Leeds concerning 
the future of the human race, as to the period of time which may be 
estimated to elapse before the world will cease to be able, under present 
conditions, to support its increasing population. These are only a few 
subjects of interest which strike the least scientific among you, and 
without doubt many more will reveal themselves to the searching eye 
of science in New Zealand. Your labours should teach us that neither 
in the case of nations nor of individuals do the pleasures of life consist 
solely in the making of money, and that there are many who, 
disregarding selfish considerations of material wealth, prefer to devote 
their talents to the pursuit of knowledge and the discussion of its 


results. These philosophers have embraced the principles which Plato, 
in his " Republic " counsels us to adopt towards our rulers and 
guardians, the people, that they " may grow up, not amid images of 
deformity which will gradually poison and corrupt their souls, but in a 
land of health and beauty, where they will drink in from every object 
sweet and harmonious influences." 

A vote of thanks to the retiring President, Baron von Mueller, 
moved by Mr. Morton of Hobart, and seconded by Professor W. H. 
Warren of Sydney, was carried by acclamation. 

The Chairman then invited Professor Goodale, President of the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science, to address the 

Professor Goodale, who was received with loud and continued 
applause, said — Mr. President, your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, 
— My first duty is to thank you heartily Sir James, and you, my dear 
Baron, for the very warm welcome you have extended to me. Be 
assured that these cordial expressions are most sincerely appreciated. 
My second duty is to bring to you greetings from the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science. When, a few years ago, 
we learned that one of your most energetic professors had taken in 
hand the formation of an Australasian Association, somewhat on the 
lines of the British Association and our own, we took the deepest 
interest in the plans, for we hoped that you would realise what we have 
secured. In these days of extreme specialism there is need of a broad 
general association, so that specialists might conter together ; that they 
can widen the outlook and that those who are cultivating small poi'tions 
of the field can see that the ground near to the fence is not neglected. 
Now, under a general association like this, specialists can meet and 
confer together, and they can preserve that which they certainly hope 
to preserve. Then again we have found, and I have no doubt you will 
find, that general meetings of associations like this diminish, if they 
don't fully prevent and remove personal misunderstandings. Some- 
times these misunderstandings are allowed to grow until at last they 
are intensified. In associations like the British Association and our 
own we tind the tendency to anything like personal differences to 
diminish and disappear, and I hope you will find the same. We have 
found that the British Association and our own have always done good, 
by their visits, to the community where the meetings were held. A 
good many have criticised unfavourably this migratory tendency, 
holding that it is better to have the meetings in some central place. 
But it seems that in this the old fable comes back, that " strength 
seems to be restoied every time we touch new ground." This migratory 
tendency is the survival of the migratory tendency inherited from our 
ancestors. I feel very sure if you were to put it to the vote in the 
British Association you would not receive a single positive vote in 
favour of substituting for these missions, as we may call them, one 
resident place. Now, when we heard that an Australasian Association 
was to be formed in this manner, our hopes and best wishes went 
out to you, and when the opportunity came to present felicitations 
on. your success it was most eagerly accepted; so that I have now 
great pleasure in presenting, on behalf of the Association I represent, 
our congratulations upon the pronounced success of the Australasian 


Association. The American Association is not limited to the United 
States. As his Excellency the Governor has told you, the British 
Association met on Canadian soil. Some of our meetings are also held 
in the large centres of the Dominion of Canada, and the meeting of the 
British Association was really a joint meeting of the two Associations. 
We sometimes think that blocd is thicker than water. Now, my 
honoured colleagues, through me, extend to you an invitation to visit 
our Association. Do not regard it as one of those general invitations 
which means just drop in as you piss by; but if you find you can be 
present at any of our meetings just inform our General Secretary, and 
when you did meet, then the general invitation, you would find would 
be converted into a specific one. I again thank you for your cordial 
welcome, and, congratulating the Association upon its past and present 
success, I have only now to express on behalf of our Association, and 
on my own behalf, our best wishes for Australasia and the Australasian 

Sir James Hector then delivered the following presidential address 
— When I rashly replied in the affirmative to the cablegram which I 
received from our Secretary in Melbourne, asking me to undertake the 
honourable and responsible duties which I have to commence this 
evening, I fear I did not fully realise the difficulties of the position, 
but since then the sense of my untitnesss for the task has become very 
oppressive. To address an assembly of this kind on general science 
must involve unusual difficulties, owing to the audience being largely 
composed of those who, only taking a casual interest in scientific 
discussions, look chiefly to the results ; while, at the same time, there 
are present specialists in almost every branch of knowledge. I feel 
that on this occasion I must be ruled by the interest of the majority, 
and claim the forbearance of my fellow workers in science if I have to 
refer in a sketchy way to subjects iu which they are deeply interested, 
and far more learned than I profess to be. Seeing that I am addressing 
a Christchurch audience I hope I may be permitted, in the fir»t place, 
to say a word concerning one whose scientific services should, without 
doubt, have obtained for him the position of first President in New 
Zealand of the Australasian Association. We naturally recall the 
name of Sir Julius Von Haast on this occasion, and mourn for the loss 
the colony has sustained of one who for thirty years occupied a most 
prominent position. His early reseaiches in the North Island in 
company with Von Hochstetter, were followed by the exploration of 
the remote, districts on the west coast of Nelson, after which Canterbury 
secured his distinguished services, and enabled him to leave that 
monument of varied scientific knowledge, shrewd capacity and inde- 
fatigable industry which is to be found iu the Canterbury Museum. 
There are others of our fellow-colonists whose wide range of experience 
would have peculiarly fitted them to act as your President, and I am 
able to say that had our veteran colonist and explorer Sir George Grey 
felt more assured in health and strength it would have been your 
pleasure this evening to listen to a flood of eloquence on all scientific 
topics that relate to the future development of Australasia. There is 
another name I feel must be mentioned as one who should have been 
in this position had his health permitted. I refer to the Bev. William 
Colenso, who is not oidy the greatest authority on the folk-lore of the 
Maoris, on whom he was among the first to confer a printed literature 


in their own language. His long-continued work as a field naturalist, 
and especially as a botanist, is exceedingly interesting, seeing that it 
forms a connecting link that has continued the early spirit of natural 
history research in New Zealand, that commenced with Banks and 
Solander, and was continued by Menzies, Lesson, the two Cunninghams, 
and Sir Joseph Hooker, prior to the arrival of colonists. Thus we still 
have in my esteemed friend, Mr. Colenso, an active veteran naturalist 
of what we may call the old school of explorers. It is wonderful to 
reflect that little more than fifty years ago this European colony was 
represented by a few fishing hamlets on the seaboard of a country 
occupied by a considerable native population. To the early explorers, 
and even down to a much later date, the obstacles that beset their path 
were very different from those of the present time ; often obstructive 
Natives, no roads, no steamers, no railways. Had an Association then 
existed and desired to promote science by giving our visitors an 
opportunity of visiting the remote parts of the islands, the same 
excursions which have on this occasion been planned to occupy a few 
clays, would have occupied as many months, and then be accomplished 
only with great hardship and difficulty. 1 must ask the young and 
rising generation of colonial naturalists to bear this in mind when they 
haye to criticise and add to the work of their predecessors. Such 
names of early colonists as Bidwill, Sinclair, Monro, Mantell, Travers, 
and many others should ever be held in esteem as those who, amidst 
all the arduous trials of early colonisation, never lost sight of their 
duty towards the advancement of science in New Zealand. I will not 
attempt to particularise other names from amongst our existing, and, 
though small in number, very active corps of scientific workers. They 
are here, or should be, to speak for themselves in the sectional work ; 
and I have no doubt some of those who did me the great honour of 
placing me in my present position are secretly congratulating themselves 
that they have secured for themselves the position of free lances on this 
occasion. This is now the third annual gathering of this Association, 
and New Zealand should feel honoured that it has at so early a date in 
the Association's history been selected to the turn in rotation as the 
place of meeting among so many divisions of the great colony of 
Australasia. The two volumes of the Transactions of the Association, 
already in the hands of members, ai - e quite sufficient to prove that the 
hopes of its founders— or rather, I may almost say, the founder — 
Professor Liversidge of Sydney, have been amply fulfilled. The papers 
read before the different sections, and the addresses delivered, have in 
my opinion, to a most remarkable extent, embodied information and 
discussions which were not likely to be produced as the result of any of 
our local scientific organisations. The authors seemed to have felt it 
incumbent on them to place their subjects in the environment of 
Australasia, and rot in relation to the colony they represent. This, I 
take it, is the first truly effective step towards Federation which has 
yet been achieved, and I trust that all our members will continue to be 
imbued with this spirit. Politicians should take this well to heart. 
Let them continue to aid all efforts that will tend to bring scientific 
accumulations in these colonies into a common store, so that each may 
discover for what purpose it has been best adapted by nature, and of 
payirg proper political respect in fiscal policy to one another, each may 
prosper to the full extent of its natural advantages. But it is not alone 


in the value of the papers communicated that the Association contributes 
to advance true civilisation in the colonies. The face to face conference, 
the personal cont ict of the active workers in different lines of scientific 
work, must greatly facilitate the more thorough understanding of the 
work which has been done and which is still undone. A vague idea, 
simmering in the brain of one scientist who thinks light of it because 
it has no special application in his particular environment, may, by 
personal converse, flash into important results in the mind of another 
who has had the difficulties facing him, but without the happy thought 
occurring. It would be rather interesting for someone with leisure to 
endeavour to recount how many great discoveries have eventuated in 
this manner. In casting my thoughts for a particular subject on which 
to address the Association I felt perplexed. Presidents of similar 
Associations in the Old World, who are in constant contact with the 
actual progress in scientific thought, feel that a mere recital of the 
achievements during their previous term is sufficient to command 
interest ; but in the colonies most of us are cut off from personal 
converse with the leading minds by whom the scientific afflatus is 
communicated ; and in our suspense for the tardy anival of the official 
publications of the societies, we have to feed our minds with science 
from periodical literature. But even in this respect my own current 
education is very defective, as I reside in the capital city of New 
Zealand, which has no college with a professional staff whose duty, 
pleasure and interest it is to maintain themselves on a level with the 
different branches of knowledge they represent. I therefore decided 
that instead of endeavouring to review what had been done in the way 
of scientific progress, even in Australasia, it would be better to confine 
my remarks to New Zealand — the more so that this is the first occasion 
that there has been a gathering of what must, to some extent, be 
considered to be an outside audience for the colony. To endeavour to 
describe, even briefly, the progress made in the science of a new country 
is, however, almost like writing its minute history. Every step in its 
reclamation from a wild state of nature has depended on the application 
of scientific knowledge, and the reason for the rapid advance in these 
colonies is chiefly to be attributed to their having had the advantage of 
all modern resources to hand. As in most other matters in New 
Zealand there is a sharp line dividing the progress into two distinct 
periods, the first before and the second after the formation of the colony 
in 1840. With reference to the former perio I it is not requisite that 
much should be said on this occasion. From the time of Captain 
Cook's voyages, owing to his attractive narrative, New Zealand acquired 
intense interest for naturalists. His descriptions of the country and its 
productions, seeing that he only gathered them from a few places 
where he landed on the coast, are singularly accurate. But I think 
rather too much is sometimes endeavoured to be proved from the 
negative evidence of his not having observed certain objects. As an 
instance, it has been asserted that if any of the many forms of the moa 
still survived, Captain Cook must have been informed of the fact. Yet 
we find that he lay for weeks in Queen Charlotte Sound and in Dusky 
Sound, where all night long the cry of the kiwi must have been heard 
just as now, and that he also obtained and took Home mats and other 
articles of Native manufacture, trimmed with kiwi's skins; and that 
most likely the mouse-coloured quadruped which was seen at Dusky 



Sound by his men when clearing the bush was only a grey kiwi ; and 
yet the discovery of this interesting bird was not made till forty years 
after Cook's visit. As a scientific geographer Cook stands unrivalled, 
considering the appliances at his disposal His longitudes of New 
Zealand are wonderfully accurate, especially those computed from what 
he called his " rated watches," the first type of the modern marine 
chronometer, which he was almost the first navigator to use. The 
result, of a recent measurement of the meridian difference from 
Greenwich by magnetic signals is only two geographical miles east 
of Captain Cook's longitude. He also observed the variation and dip 
of the magnetic ueedle, and from his record it would appear that during 
the hundred years which elapsed up to the time of the Challenger's 
visit, the south-seeking end of the needle had changed its position 2£ 
deg. westward, and inclines 1A deg. more towards the South magnetic 
pole. Captain Cook also recorded an interesting fact, which, so far as 
I am aware, has not been since repeated or verified in New Zealand. 
He found that the pendulum of his astronomical clock, the length of 
which had been adjusted to swing true seconds at Greenwich, lost at 
the rate of 46 sec. daily at Ship Cove in Queen Charlotte Sound. This 
is, I believe, an indication of a greater loss of the attraction of gravity 
than would occur in a corresponding North latitude. The additions to 
our scientific knowledge of New Zealand, acquired through the visits of 
the other exploring ships of early navigators, the settlement of sealers 
and whalers on the coast, and of pakeha Maories in the interior were 
all useful, but of too slight a character to require special mention. The 
greatest additions to science were made by the missionaries, who in the 
work of spreading Christianity among the Natives, had the service of 
able and zealous men who mastere I the Native dialects, reduced them 
to a written language, collected and placed on record the traditional 
knowledge of the interesting Maori, and had among their numbers 
some industrious naturalists who never lost au opportunity of collecting 
natural objects. The history of how the country, under the mixed 
influences for good and for evil which prevailed almost without 
Government control till 184U, gradually was ripened for the colonist, 
is familiar to all. The new era may be said to have begun with 
Dieffenbach, a naturalist who was employed by the JNew Zealand 
Company. He travelled and obtained much information, but did not 
collect to any great extent, and, in fact, appears not to have anticipated 
that much remained to be discovered. For his conclusion is that the 
smallness of the number of the species of animals and plants then 
known — about one-tenth of our present lists — was not due to want of 
acquaintance with the country, but to paucity of life forms. The chief 
scientific value of his published work is the appendix, giving the first 
systematic list of the fauna and flora of the country, the former being 
compiled by the late Dr. Gray of the British Museum. The next great 
scientific work done for New Zealand was the Admirality survey of the 
coast line, which is a perfect marvel of accurate topography, and one of 
the greatest boons the colony has received from the Mother Country. 
The enormous labour and expense which was incurred on this survey at 
an early date in the history of the colony is a substantial evidence of 
the confidence in its future development and commercial requirements 
which animated the Home Goverment. On the visit of the Austrian 
exploring ship " Novara " to Anckland in 1859, Von Hochstetter was 


left behind, at the request of the Government, to make a prolonged 
excursion to the North Island and in Nelson ; and he it was who laid 
the foundation of our knowledge of the stratigraphical geology of New 
Zealand. Since then the work of scientific research has been chiefly 
the result of State surveys, aided materially by the zeal of members 
of the New Zealand Institute, and of late years by an increasing band 
of young students, who are fast coming to the front under the careful 
science training that is afforded by our University Colleges. In the 
epoch of their development the Australasian colonies have been 
singularly fortunate. The period that applies to New Zealand is 
contemporaneous with the reign of Her Majesty, which has been 
signalised by enormous strides in science. It has been a period of 
gathering into working form immense stores of previously-acquired 
observation and experiment, and of an escape of the scientific mind 
from the trammels of superstition and hazy speculation regarding what 
may be termed common things. Laborious work has been done and 
man}' grand generalisations have been arrived at in physical science ; 
but still, in the work of bringing things to the actual experiment, 
investigators were bound by imperfect and feeble hypotheses aud 
supposed natural barriers among the sciences. But science is one and 
indivisible, and its subdivisions, such as physics, chemistry, biology, are 
only matters of convenience for study. The methods are the same in 
all, and their common object is the discovery of the great laws of order 
under which this universe has been evoked by the great Supreme 
Power. The great fundamental advance during the last fifty years 
has been the achievement of far reaching generalisations, which have 
provided the scientific worker with powerful weapons of research. 
Thus the modern " atomic theory," with its new and clearer conceptions 
of the intimate nature of the elements and their compounds that 
constitute the earth and all that it supports, has given rise to a new 
chemistry, in which the synthetical or building-up method of proof is 
already working marvels in its application to manufactures. It is, 
moreover, creating a growing belief that all matter is one, and reviving 
the old idea that the inorganic elementary units are merely centres of 
motion specialised in a homogeneous medium, and that these units have 
been continued on through time, but with such individual variations as 
give rise to derivative groups, just as we find has been the case in the 
field of organic creations. The idea embodied in this speculation likens 
the molecule to the vortex rings which Helmholtz found must continue 
to exist for ever, if in a perfect fluid free from all friction they are once 
generated, as a result of impacting motion. There is something very 
attractive in this theory of the constitution of matter which has been 
advocated by Sir William Thomson. He illustrates it by likening the 
form of atoms to smoke rings in tlin atmosphere, which, were they 
only formed under circumstances such as above described, must 
continue to move without changing form, distinguished only from 
the surrounding medium by their motion. As long as the original 
conditions of the liquid exist they must continue to revolve. Nothing 
can separate, divide, or destroy them, and no new units can be formed 
in the liquid without a fresh application of the creative impact. The 
doctrine of the conservation of energy is a second powerful instrument 
of research that has developed within our own times. How it has 
cleared away the cobwebs that formerly encrusted our ideas about the 


simplest agencies that are at work around us. How it has so simplified 
the teaching of the laws that order the conversion of internal motions 
of bodies into phases which represent light, heat, electricity, is abundantly 
proved by the facility with which the mechanicians are every day 
snatching the protean forms of energy for the service of man with 
increasing economy. These great strides which have been made in 
physical science have not as yet incited much original work in this 
colony. But now that physical laboratories are established in some 
degree at the various college centres, we will be expected, ere long, to 
contribute our mite to the vast store. In practical works ot physical 
research we miss in New Zealand the stimulus the sister colonies 
receive from their first-class observatories, supplied with all the most 
modern instruments of research, wielded by such distinguished astro- 
nomers as Ellery, Russell, and Todd, whose discoveries secure renown 
for their separate colonies. I am quite prepared to admit that the 
reduplication of observatories in about the same latitude, merely for the 
study of the heavenly bodies, would be rather a matter of scientific 
luxury. The few degrees of additional elevation of the South Polar 
region which would be gained by an observatory situated even in the 
extreme south of New Zealand could hardly be expected to disclose 
phenomena that would escape the vigilance of the Melbourne obser- 
vatory. But star gazing is only one branch of the routine work of an 
observatory. It is true we have a moderate but efficient observatory 
establishment in New Zealand sufficient for distributing correct mean 
time, and that our meridian distance from Greenwich has been 
satisfactorily determined by telegraph ; also, thanks to the energy and 
skill of the Survey Department, despite most formidable natural 
obstructions, the major triangulation and meridian circuits have 
established the basis of our land survey maps on a satisfactory footing, 
so that the sub-divisions of the land for settlement and the adoption 
and blending of the excellent work done by the Provincial Governments 
of the colony is being rapidly overtaken. Further, I have already 
recalled how much the colony is indebted to the Mother Country for 
the completeness and detail of the coastal and harbour charts. B\it 
there is much work that should be controlled by a physical observatory 
that is really urgently required. I may give a few illustrations. The 
tidal movements round the coast are still imperfectly ascertained, and 
the causes of their irregular variation can never be understood until 
we have a synchronous system of tide meters, and a more widely 
extended series of deep-sea soundings. Excepting the Challenger 
soundings on the line of the Sydney cable, and a few casts taken by the 
United State ship "Enterprise," the depths of the ocean surrounding 
New Zealand have not been ascertained with that accuracy which many 
interesting problems in physical geography and geology demand. It is 
supposed to be the culmination of a great submarine plateau ; but how 
far that plateau extends, connecting the southern islands towards the 
great Antarctic land, and how far to the eastward, is still an unsolved 
question. Then, again, the direction and intensity of the magnetic 
currents in and around New Zealand require further close investigation, 
which can only be controlled from an observatory. Even in the 
matter of secular changes in the variation of the compass we find that 
the marine charts instruct that an allowance of increased easterly 
variation of 2 min. per annum must be made, and as this has now 


accumulated since 1850 it involves a very sensible correction to be 
adopted by a shipmaster in making the land or standing along the 
coast, but we find from the recently published work of the "Challenger" 
that this tendency to change has for some time back ceased to affect 
the New Zealand area, and as the deduction appears only to have been 
founded on a single triplet observation of the dip taken at Wellington 
and one azimuth observation taken at Cape Palliser, it would be well 
to have this fact verified. With regard to the local variation in the 
magnetic currents on land and close in shore, the requirement for 
exact survey is even more imperative. Captain Creak, in his splendid 
essay, quotes the observations made by the late Surveyor-General Mr 
J. T. Thomson, at the Bluff Hill, which indicate that a compass on the 
north side was deflected more than 9 deg. to the west, while on the east 
side of the hill the deflection is 46 deg. to the east of the average 
deviation in Foveaux Strait. He adds that if a similar island-like hill 
happened to occur on the coast, but submerged beneath the sea to a 
sufficient depth for navigation, serious accidents might take place, and 
he instances a case near Cossack, on the north coast of Australia, when 
H.M " Medea," sailing on a straight course in eight fathoms of water, 
experienced a compass deflection of 30 deg. for the distance of a mile. 
A glance at the variation entered on the meridian circuit maps of New 
Zealand shows that on land we have extraordinary differences between 
different trig, stations at short distances apart. For instance, in our 
close vicinity, at Mount Pleasant, behind Godley Head lighthouse, at 
the entrance to Lyttelton harbour, the variation is only 9 deg. 3 min. 
east, or 6 deg. less than the normal ; while at Rolleston it is 15 deg. 
33 min., and at Lake Coleridge 14 deg. 2 min. In Otago we have still 
greater differences recorded, for we find on Flagstaff Hill, which is an 
igneous formation, 14 deg. 34 min., while at Nenthom, thirty miles to 
the North, in a schist formation, we find an entry of 35 deg 41 min. 
In view of the fact that attention has been recently directed to the 
marked effects on the direction and intensity of the terrestrial magnetic 
currents of great lines of fault along which movements have taken 
place, such as those which bring widelv different geological formations 
into discordant contact, with the probable production of mineral veins, 
this subject of special magnetic surveys is deserving of being under- 
taken in New Zealand. In Japan and in the United States of 
America the results have already proved highly suggestive. A 
comparison between this country and Japan by such observations, 
especially if combined with systematic and synchronous records by 
modern seismographic instruments would be of service to the 
physical geologist. There are many features in common, and many 
quite reversed in the orographic and other physical features of these 
two countries. Both are formed by the crests of great earth waves 
lying north-east and south-west, and parallel to, but distant from 
continental areas, and both are traversed by great longitudinal faults 
and fissures, and each by one great transverse fault. Dr. Nauman, in 
a recent paper, alludes to this in Japan as the Fossa Magna, and it 
corresponds in position in relation to Japan with Cook Strait in relation 
to New Zealand. But the Fossa Magna of Japan has been filled up 
with volcanic products, and is the seat of the loftiest active volcano in 
Japan. In Cook Strait and its vicinity, as you are aware, there are 
no volcanic rocks, but there and southward, through the Kaikouras, 


evidence of fault movements on a large scale is apparent, and it would 
be most interesting to ascertain if the remarkable deviation from the 
normal in direction and force of the magnetic currents, which are 
experienced in Japan, are also found in New Zealand. For it is 
evident that if they are in any way related to the strain of cross 
fractures in the earth's ci'ust, the observation would tend to eliminate 
the local influence of the volcanic rocks which are present in one case 
and absent in the other. With reference to earthquakes also, few, if 
any, but very local shocks experienced in New Zealand have originated 
from any volcanic focus we are acquainted with, while a westerly 
propagation of the ordinary vibrations rarely passes the great fault that 
marks the line of active volcanic disturbance. In Japan, also, out of 
about 480 shocks which are felt each year in that country, each of 
which, on average, shakes about one thousand square miles, there are 
many that cannot be ascribed to volcanic origin. There are many 
other problems of practical importance that can only be studied from 
the base line of a properly equipped observatory. These will readily 
occur to physical students, who are better acquainted with the subject 
than I am. I can only express the hope that the improved circum- 
stances of the colony will soon permit some steps to be taken. 
Already in this city, I understand some funds have been subscribed. 
As an educational institution, to give practical application to our 
students in physical science, geodesy, and navigation, it would clearly 
have a specific value that would greatly benefit the colony. Another 
great branch of physical science, chemistry, should be of intense 
interest to colonists in a new country. Much useful work has been 
done, though not by many workers. The chief application of this 
science has been naturally to promote the development of mineral 
wealth, to assist agriculture, and for the regulation of mercantile 
contracts. I cannot refrain from mentioning the name of William 
Skey, analyst to the Geological Survey, as the chemist whose researches 
during the last twenty-eight years have far surpassed any other in 
New Zealand. Outside his laborious official duties he has found time 
to make about sixty original contributions to chemical science, such as 
researches into the electrical properties of metallic sulphides — the 
discovery of the ferro-nickel alloy awaruite in the ultra-basic rocks of 
West Otago, which is highly interesting as it is the first recognition of 
this meteoric-like iron as native to our planet — the discovery that the 
hydrocarbon in the gas shales is chemically and not merely mechanically 
combined with the clay base — of a remarkable colour test for the 
presence of magnesia and the isolation of the poisonous principle in 
many of our native shrubs. His recent discovery, that the fatty oils 
treated with aniline form alkaloids, also hints at an important new 
departure in organic chemistry. His suggestion of the hot-air blow 
pqie, and of the application of cyanide of potassium to the saving of 
gold, and many other practical applications of his chemical knowledge, 
are distinguished services to science, of which New Zealand should be 
proud. In connection with the subject of chemistry, there is a point of 
vast importance to the future of the pastoral and agricultural interests 
of .New Zealand, to which attention was directed some years ago by Mr. 
Pond, of Auckland. That is the rapid deterioration which the soil 
must be undergoing by the steady export of the constituents on which 
plant and animal life must depend for nourishment. He calculated 


that in 1883 the intrinsic value of the fixed nitrogen and phosphoric 
acid and potash sent out annually was £592,000, taking into account 
the wool and the wheat alone. Now that we have to add to that the 
exported carcases of beef and mutton, bones and all, the annual loss 
must be immensely greater. The proper cure, would, of course, be to 
bring back return cargoes of artificial manure, but even then its 
application to most of our pastoral lands would be out of the question. 
I sincerely hope that the problem will be taken in hand by the 
Agricultural College at Lincoln as a matter deserving of practical study 
and investigation. I have already referred to several great generali- 
sations which have exercised a powerful influence in advancing science 
during the period I marked out for review, but so far as influencing 
the general current of thought, and almost entirely revolutionising the 
prevalent notions of scientific workers in every department of know- 
ledge, the most potent of the period has been the establishment of what 
has been termed the doctrine of evolution. The simple conception of 
the relation of all created things by the bond of continuous inheritance 
has given life to the dead bones of an accumulated mass ot observed 
facts, each valuable in itself, but, as a whole, breaking down by its own 
weight. Before this master-key was provided by the lucid instruction 
of Darwin and Wallace, it was beyond the power of the human mind 
to grasp and use in biological research the great wealth of minute 
anatomical and physiological details. The previous ideas of the 
independent creation of each species of animal and plant in a little 
Garden of Eden of its own must appear puerile and absurd to the 
young naturalist of the present day ; but in my own College days to 
have expressed any doubts on the subject would have involved a sure 
and certain pluck from the examiner. I remember well that I first 
obtained a copy of Darwin's " Origin of Species " in San Francisco 
when on my way home from a three years' sojourn among the Red 
Indians in the Rocky Mountains. Having heard nothing of the 
controversies, I received the teaching with enthusiasm, and felt very 
much surprised on returning to my alma mater to find that I was 
treated as a heretic and a backslider. Nowadays it is difficult to 
realise what all the fuss and fierce controversy was about, and the 
rising school of naturalists have much cause for congratulation that 
they can start fair on a well-assured logical basis of thought, and steer 
clear of the many complicated and purely ideal systems which were 
formerly in vogue for explaining the intentions of the Creator and for 
torturing the unfortunate students. The doctrine of evolution was the 
simple-minded acceptance of the invariability of cause and effect in the 
organic world as in the inorganic ; and to understand his subject in any 
bianch of natural science, the learner has now only to apply himself to 
trace in minutest detail the successive steps in the development of the 
phenomena he desires to study. With energetic leaders educated in 
such views, and who, after their arrival in the colony, felt less 
controversial restraint, it is not wonderful that natural history, and 
especially biology, should have attracted so many ardent workers, and 
that the results should have been so good. A. rough test may be 
applied by comparing the number of species of animals and plants 
which had been described before the foundation of the colony and those 
up to the present time. In 1840, Dr. Gray's list in Deiffenbach's work 
gives the number of described species of animals as 594. The number 


now recognised and described is 5,498. The number of mammalia has 
been doubled through the more accurate study of our seals, whales, and 
dolphins. Then the list of birds has been increased from eighty-four to 
195, chiefly through the exertions of Sir Walter Buller, whose great 
standard work on our avifauna has gained credit and renown for 
the whole colony. The number of fishes and mollusca has been more 
than trebled, almost wholly by the indefatigable work of our Secretary, 
Professor Hutton. But the greatest increase is in the group which Dr. 
Gray placed as Annulosa, which, chiefly through the discovery of new 
forms of insect life, has risen from 156 in 1840, to 4,295, of which over 
2,000 are new beetles described by Captain Broun, of Auckland. When 
we turn to botany we find that Deiffenbach, who appears to have 
carefully collected all the references to date in 1840, states the flora to 
comprise 632 plants of all kinds, and, as I have already mentioned, did 
not expect that any more would be found. But by the time of the 
publication of Hooker's " Flora of New Zealand " (1863), a work which 
has been of inestimable value to our colonists, we find the number of 
indigenous plants described had been increased to 2450. Armed with 
the invaluable guidance afforded by Hooker's " Handbook," our colonial 
botanists have renewed the search, and have since then discovered 1,469 
new species, so that our plant census at the present date gives a total of 
3,919 species. It would be impossible to make mention of all who 
have contributed to this result as collectors, and hardly even to indicate 
more than a few of those to whom science is indebted for the description 
of the plants. The history of our post Hookerian botany is scattered 
about in scientific periodical literature, and as Hooker's Handbook is 
now quite out of print, it is obvious that, as the new discoveries 
constitute more than one-third of the total flora, it is most important 
that our young botanists should be fully equipped with all that has 
been ascertained by those who have preceded them. I am glad to be 
able to announce that such a work, in the form of a new edition of the 
" Handbook of the Flora of New Zealand," approved by Sir Joseph 
Hooker, is now in an advanced state of preparation by Professor 
Thomas Kirk, who has already distinguished himself as the author of 
our " Forest Flora." Mr. Kirk's long experience as a systematic 
botanist and his personal knowledge of the flora of every part of the 
colony, acquired during the exercise of his duties as Conservator of 
Forests, point to him as the fitting man to undertake the task. But 
quite apart from the work of increasing the local collections which bear 
on biological studies, New Zealand stands out prominently in all 
discussions on the subject of geographical biology. It stands as a lone 
zoological area, minute in area, but on equal terms as far as regards the 
antiquity and peculiar features of its fauna, with nearly all the larger 
continents in the aggregate. In consequence of this, many philosophical 
essays — such, for instance, as Hooker's introductory essay to the early 
folio edition of the " Flora," the essays by Hutton, Travers, aud others 
and also the New Zealand references in Wallace's works, have all 
contributed essentially to the vital question of the causes which have 
brought about the distribution and geographical affinities of plants and 
animals, and have thus been of use in hastening the adoption of the 
doctrine of evolution. But much still remains to be done. Both as 
regards its fauna and its flora, New Zealand has always been treated as 
too much of a whole quantity, and in consequence percentage schedules 


prepared for comparing with the fauna and flora of other areas fail 
from this cause. It is absolutely necessary to discriminate not only 
localities, but also to study more carefully the relative abundance of 
individuals as well as of species befoi - e -instituting comparisons. The 
facility and rapidity with which change is effected at the present time 
should put as against rashly accepting species which may have been 
accidental intruders, though wafted by natural causes, as belonging to 
the original endemic fauna and flora. Further close and extended 
study, especially of our marine fauna, is urgently required. We have 
little knowledge beyond the littoral zone, except when a great storm 
heaves up a gathering of nondescript or rare treasure from the deep. 
Of dredging we have had but little done, and only in shallow waters, 
with the exception of a few casts of the deep sea trawl from the 
"Challenger." When funds permit, a zoological station for the study of 
the habits of our sea fishes and for the propagation of such introductions 
as the lobster and the crab would be advantatageous. I observe that 
lately such an establishment has been placed on the Island of Mull, in 
Scotland, at a cost of £400, and that it is expected to be nearly self- 
supporting. With respect to food fishes, and still more with respect to 
some terrestrial forms of life, we, in common with all the Australasian 
colonies, require a more scientific and a less casual system of acclimati- 
sation than we have had in the past. One must talk with bated breath 
of the injuries that have been inflicted on these colonies by the rash 
disturbance of the balance of nature Had our enthusiasm been properly 
controlled by foresight, our settlers would probably not have to grieve 
over the losses they now suffer through many insect pests, through 
small birds and rabbits, and which they will in the future suffei 
through the vermin that are now being spread in all directions. 

There are many other points that I intended to touch upon, but 
all have been forestalled by the remarks of his Excellency the Governor 
and Mr. Goodale. L am the better pleased that these gentlemen have 
spoken upon them, as they were remarks relating to the advantages of 
the Association. I feel, however, that I would have liked to have given 
a description of what had been ascertained relating to the geology of 
New Zealand. I might state that the early explorers appeared to 
have had only the most vague ideas of the geologies of the countries 
they explored. Indeed, the whole science of geology seemed to have 
been almost brought into existence during the last fifty or fifty-five 
years. It existed only as drawing its knowledge from other branches 
of science; it barely existed as a science until these branches had 
become established. In New Zealand our geological explorations have 
been made since the matters I have referred to have been settled, and 
the result has been that we have attained competent and tolerably 
complete knowledge of the structure of the country. New Zealand is 
probably the outcrop of a great earth-wave, the hollow of which formed 
the submarine plateau lying to the east. New Zealand appears to have 
first originated as dry land in the palaeozoic times, merely as volcanic 
islands rising in a sea of moderate depth. Alter the palaeozoic period 
there appears to have been a great blank in the geological formation. 
It was a period during which no deposits took place, and it is probable 
that all which had been deposited were removed." 


Sir James Hector then went on to trace the various formations, 
referred to the first traces found of the moa at Timaru, and then 
leaving that subject stated that at the sectional meeting on ethnology 
there would be presented to the Associations the first proof-sheets of a 
great lexicon of the languages spoken in the Pacific Islands, especially 
by the natives in the Sandwich Islands, of Tongo, and of New Zealand. 
It was being prepared by Mr. Tregear, one of the most profound 
workers in New Zealand in Maori mythology. 

" There is another subject on which I would like to touch. It is 
concerning the great Antarctic continent, but as I understand Baron von 
Mueller wishes the discussion of the question to be deferred for Saturda)' 
forenoon, 1 will say no more upon it. I have to apologise for the very 
feeble manner in which I have attempted to perform my duties, though I 
have the most perfect, confidencei n the success of the Association. I think 
it is about twenty-four years since Mr. Travers got the Act passed 
which established the New Zealand Institute, In a very small way it 
was an association of scientists, and it was founded to absorb and 
render permanent the active endeavours in all part of the colony to 
advance the interests of science. How well it has succeeded is known 
by all. Baron Mueller has kindly attributed its success to me, but I 
must really disclaim that and say its success was due to the wise frarner 
of the special Act. I hope to see the colonies united together as one 
whole in this matter ; the whole of the Australasian colonies are not 
too large to combine for the purpose, and I hope that the inclusion of 
New Zealand in the magic circle will come about in time. In conclusion 
I will express the wish that the visitors may have a pleasant sojourn in 
New Zealand. I trust that I have succeeded in proving the clainjs of 
this colony as a place for the meeting of the Association, and that I 
have shown th^re is enough scientific work to merit such recognition as 
we have received, and I think 1 have shown that New Zealand has great 
capabilities for scientific research, and that there is still a great deal to 
be done." 

Mr. F. de C. Malet moved, and the Mayor of Christchurch 
seconded the following resolution, which was carried by acclamation — 
" That the best thanks of the Australasiau Association for the 
Advancement of Science be accorded to his Excellency the Governor 
for the distinction he has conferred upon the Association by his 
presence here this evening." 




(Read before Section D (Biology).) 


"The preservation of the native Fauna and Flora of New Zealand 
is an object which will command the interest and sympathy of the 
Australasian Association, and an expression of opinion on their part 
may do much to forward this object. 

"The Little Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf, appears to be a 
suitable locality for the formation of one or more Reserves where the 
fauna (and also the flora) could be protected from the destruction 
which, it is well known, is overtaking so many of the rarer and more 
interesting species. 

"The island is of little or no value for settlement as it is very- 
rugged and quite inaccessible except in the finest weather. On the 
other hand it would be a very suitable place for the preservation of 
the native fauna. It is of sufficient size, being some 5 miles across, 
and rising as it does to the height of 3,300 feet it affords a considerable 
variety of climatic conditions. Its isolation and the difficulty of landing 
will render it secure from marauders and from the danger of bush- 
fires, so great everywhere on the main-land. Moreover it is still well 
covered with mixed native forest and a number of the rarer of our 
native animals occur there. 

" Similar reasons point to the suitability of Resolution Island, 
Dusky Sound, for the preservation of characteristic forms from the 
South Island. 

" The purchase of Little Barrier Island is, I believe, now being 
effected by the Crown Lands Department, and I wish to suggest that 
on the completion of the purchase the island should be declared a 
Forest reserve and regulations framed forbidding the destruction of 
the native plants or animals on the island. 

" It might, perhaps, be found desirable to give the Council of the 
Auckland Institute some share in the supervision of the island, as 
they have already taken much interest in the matter. 

" I wish therefore to propose the following resolutions : — 

" 1. That in the interests of Science it is most desirable that some 
step should be taken to establish one or more Reserves where 
the native flora and fauna of New Zealand may be preserved 
from destruction. 

" 2. That the Little Barrier Island and Resolution Island, Dusky 
Sound, appear to be most suitable localities for such Reserves. 

" 3. That a copy of the above resolutions be forwarded to the 
Hon. the Minister of Lands." 

The resolutions were seconded by Mr. Geo. M. Thomson, F.L.S, 
and were carried unanimously. 




In his presidential address to Section G (Anthropology), Mr. 
A. W. Howitt makes the following reference to the use of this 
curious instrument : — 

"One of the most remarkable facts brought out by the comparison 
of initiation ceremonies is the universality of the use in them, or in 
connection with them, of a wooden instrument, which is a child's toy 
in England, and which is there known as a "bull roarer." As I 
remember to have made and used one as a child, it was about eight 
inches in length by three in width, which when whirled round at the 
end of a cord caused a loud humming or roaring sound. Throughout 
Australia, so far as my investigations have extended, it is one of the 
most sacred and secret objects appertaining to the ceremonies. It is 
not permitted to women or children, I may say to the uninitiated 
generally, to see it, under pain of death. The novices were told that 
if they made it known to women or children their punishment would 
be death, either by actual violence or by magic. So secret was this 
object kept among the Kumai, that intimately as I was acquainted 
with them it was not exhibited to me at their Bora, until the old men 
had been fully satisfied that I had been present at that of their 
neighbours, the Murring, and that I had then seen it, had become 
acquainted with its use, and were convincingly told I had possession 
of one which had been used in their ceremonies. The reverential 
awe with which one of these sacred objects is viewed by the initiated 
when carried round to authenticate the message calling a ceremonial 
assemby is most striking. I have not observed it merely once but 
many times, and cannot feel any doubt about the depth of feeling of 
reverence in the minds of the Aborigines in regard to it. A peculiar 
sacredness is attached to it from several reasons, among which the 
principal are that it is taught that the first one was made by the 
Supernatural Being who first instituted the ceremonies, and the roar 
emitted by it when in use is his voice calling upon those assembled to 
perform the rites. It is the voice of Baraine, Daramulun, Mungan, 
however he may be called in the several languages, but in those tribes 
with whose ceremonies I have acquaintance he is also more familiarly 
called ' our father ' The universality of its use, and under the same 
conditions in world-wide localities, is one of the most puzzling 
questions in this branch of anthropology, and can only, as it seems to 
me, point to the extreme antiquity of its use. As I have said, it is 
used universally in Australia. Its use is recorded at the West Coast 
of Africa, where it is called ' the voice of Oro.' The Maories, the 
Zulus, the Navajoes use it in their ceremonies, and it has been 
pointed out by Andrew Lang that its use in the Dionysiac Mysteries 
is clearly indicated by a a passage in the scholiast, M. Clemens, 
of Alexandria. In his interesting chapter on the bull roarer in 
'Custom and Myth,' Mr. Lang well says that in all probability 
the presence of this implement in Greek Mysteries was a survival 
from the time ' when the Greeks were in the social condition of 
Australians.' " 




Annual Meeting. 

Sydney, 28th January, 1891. — Dr. J. C. Cox, Vice-President, in 
the chair. 

The Chairman delivered the Annual A_ddress, first alluding to 
the exceptional and melancholy circumstances in which he was called 
upon to preside, for which reason he should confine his remarks 
almost entirely to the consideration of matters which directly or 
indirectly concerned Science in this colony. He then proceeded to 
review the affairs and progress of the Society during the past year, 
referring at length to the loss sustained by it in the lamented death 
of Professor Stephens. He then passed to the consideration of the 
official recognition of the claims of Agriculture and Forestry to be dealt 
with in accordance with the teachings of modern science, and of the 
good, from an educational point of view, likely to accrue from the 
establishment of country museums. Finally, after pointing out that 
A ustralia offered an unrivalled opportunity of working up completely, 
and under the most favourable circumstances, the flora and fauna, 
specially interesting in itself, of one of the great tracts of the globe, he 
proceeded to inquire how it was that with such a splendid harvest still 
waiting to be gathered, in spite of all that has yet been accomplished, 
the number of workers was relatively so few ; this question being too 
complex for exhaustive treatment on that occasion, he offered some 
remarks on a threefold aspect of it, attributing the slow increase in 
the number of enthusiastic amateur naturalists partly to defective 
educational methods which leave our children blind to the beauties 
and attractions of Nature which surround them on every hand ; and 
partly to the want of descriptive catalogues, and well-illustrated 
handbooks written from the Australian standpoint; while the very 
slender inducement to our young men to qualify themselves for the 
serious pursuit of Science sufficiently accounted for the smallness of 
the number who did so, the matter resolving itself into a question, as 
Huxley puts it, "of living or starving." 

The Hon. Dr. Norton, Hon. Treasurer, laid before the Meeting 
his financial statement, and concluded by saying " I have further to 
report that by deed of 5th December, 1890, Sir William Macleay has 
transferred to the Society the Linnean Hall, with the land on which 
it stands having a frontage of 179 feet to Bay Street by a depth of 
120 feet; and that by deed of the same date Sir William has 
transferred to the Society by way of endowment a mortgage of 
£14,000 bearing interest at the rate of £5 per cent, per annum. 
The deeds by which these transfers have been effected are now in my 

On the motion of Mr. K. Etheridge it was unanimously and most 
gratefully resolved that the heartiest vote of thanks possible be 
accorded to Sir William Macleay in recognition of the latest of his 
many munificent benefactions to the Society ; and that the Chairman 
be requested to give effect to the resolution. 


The following gentlemen were elected Office-bearers and Council 
for 1891.— President: Professor W. A. Haswell, M.A., D.Sc. Vice- 
Presidents : James C. Cox, M.D., F.L.S., C. S. Wilkinson, F.L.S., 
F.G.S., Rev. W. Woolls, Ph.D., F.L.S. Honorary Secretaries : The 
Hon. Sir. William Macleay, Kt, M.L.C., F.L.S., and P. N. Trebeck, 
J. P. Honorary Treasurer : The Hon. James Norton. LL.D., M.L.C. 
Director and Librarian : J. J. Fletcher, M.A., B.Sc. Council: Messrs. 
John Brazier, F.L.S., T. W. Edgeworth David, B.A., F.G.S., H. Deane, 
M. A., C.E., Thomas Dixson, M.B., -Ch.M., Robert Etheridge, Junr., 
J. H. Maiden, F.L.S., F.C.S., E. G. W. Palmer, Percival R. Pedley, 
and Thomas Whitelegge, F.R.M S. 

Ordinary Meeting. 

Dr. J. C. Cox, Vice-President, in the chair. 

New Member. — Mr. Walter S. Duncan, Inverell. 

Paper. — " Notes on the Occurrence of Stilbite in the eruptive 
rocks of Jamberoo, N.S. W." By B. G. Engelhardt. 

Mr. David remarked that the occurrence of stilbite at Kiama 
was very interesting. He too had noticed the presence of the same 
mineral with remarkable persistence in the lavas which are inter- 
bedded with the productive coal-measures of Raymond Terrace, 
Maitland, and Greta, which lavas are probably of near about the 
same age as those of Kiama. Mr. R. L. Jack, F.G.S., the Govt. 
Geologist of Queensland, has recorded the occurrence of a similar 
mineral iu the lavas which there underlie the Bo wen River coal-field. 
This is the first record however, of the occurrence of stilbite at 

Mr. Brazier exhibited a lamp of native pottery from the Pelew 
Islands, collected by. Dr. John Habe. Also on behalf of Mr. R. C. 
Rossiter, Corr. Member, of Noumea, New Caledonia, two very fine 
examples of Cyprcea tigris, Linne, having the dorsal surface of a fine 
bright yellow colour with very few spots, the margins having the 
spots very small and of a beautiful cream colour. 

Mr. Froggatt exhibited two specimens of a grasshopper (Fam. 
Gryllidce), taken at Double Bay, which frequents the flowers of 
Eucalyptus corymbosa in order to capture the common honey bees 
{Apis mellifica) visiting the blossoms. 

Also, a few specimens of Hymenoptera received from the Rev. T. 
Blackburn, B.A., who captured them on the snow at altitudes of from 
5,000 to 6,100 feet, during his trip to the Australian Alps, Victoria, 
last November. 

Mr. Musson exhibited on behalf of Mr. Moseley of Narrabri, an 
example of the freckled duck, Anas nasvosa, Gould, obtained at 
Narran, near Angledool, not far from the Queensland border, early in 
December last. 

The Rev. R. Collie showed an interesting collection of sponges 
from Wollongong, and a fine specimen of Gorgonia from Thursday 





Petrie's First Geography .... 


Petrie's Geography of New Zealand 


Goyen's Complete Arithmetic . 


Answers to same 


Goyen's Exercises in the Compound Rules 



Answers ... 



Curnow's Primer of English History 


Thomson's Mew Zealand Ferns 


The Story of the Otago Church and f Cloth 3s. Od. 
Settlement. By Rev. C. Stuart Ross \ Paper 2s. 

Education and Educationists in Otago. 
By Rev. C. Stuart Ross . . 3s. Od. 




Matthews, Baxter & Co,, General Printers, Dowling Street, Dunedin. 

MAY, 1891. 

22 AUG. 91 

No. 3, Vol. I. (New Issue.) 



* " A " 






>J JL v. 


fill I 




Judicio perpende : et si tibi vera videutur 

Dede maims : aid si falsum est, adcingere contra, , x; 


The Moa in Australia. C. W. De Vis, M.A. ... 

Further Notes on Nemesia Gilliesii. W. W. Smith 

The Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary... 

What caused the Obliquity of the Ecliptic 

Scientific Metallurgy and Mining 

An Experiment concerning the absence of Colour from the lower sides of Flat 
Fishes ... 

Marriage among Deaf-mutes ... ... ... 

General Notes- 
Obituary Notice of Prof. W. 5. Stephens of Sydney— List of Fishes of New 

Zealand— Crustacea raised from dried New Zealand Mud— Idotea 

lacustris (G.M.T.) 

Meetings of Societies— ... .. ... " 

Linncan Society of New .South Wales— Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria 
—Royal Society of Victoria— Wellington Philosophical Society. 





Posted — Australia, America, and Britain, 12s. 6d. 

§mwfcttn, |t.£.: 


Vol. L, No. 3, N.Z. JOUBNAL OF SCIENCE (New Issue) MAY, 1891. 


BY C. W. De VIS, M.A., Queensland Museum. 

Recent discovery in Lord Howe's Island has proved that post- 
tertiary Australia extended far to the east of its present shores. 
Still it remains true that if among the results of enquiry into the past 
phases of Australian life there be one suggestive of the possible 
inter-relation of faunas apparently as distinct in history as in location, 
it is the discovery of a bird identical with the Moas of New Zealand, 
and of others so near akin to them as to have been pardonably 
mistaken for them by acute observers. Fossils so like Moa bones as 
the latter must necessarily have been, clearly show that the evolution 
of these grand birds was not initiated in their recent island home, but 
that it had already made considerable progress in that portion of a 
far-reaching continent which we now name Australia, when a period 
was put to the Nototherian age bj r desolating outflows of lava over 
the greater part of the land. Having regard to the improbability of 
birds so organized effecting a passage over sea under any ordinary 
circumstances, we can hardly escape the further conclusion that New 
Zealand's entire separation from the continental area was brought 
about in time not more remote than that era of intense volcanic 
activity ; one is even tempted to surmise, and it appears very 
possible to do so without absurdity, that it was one among the conse- 
quences of that very manifestation of energy. But this is an instance 
of speaking without book on a question which should be rigorously, 
as it may be confidently, left for decision in the hands of New 
Zealand geologists. Cumulative evidence to the same effect but still 
more explicit in kind is yielded by a relic of a true Dinornis. From it 
we gather that the process of evolution had in the self-same place 
and time accomplished more than we could have justly anticipated 
without such warrant — the production of that more complete depar- 
ture from the rest of the Struthionidce which we recognize in the Moa 
type. And again, as the ' wolves ' and ' devils ' of Tasmania, the 
' crowned pigeons ' of New Guinea, and the ' wallabies ' of those and 
other Pacific islands have been cut off from the common ancestral 
seat of their genera, so also have the Moas. 

It is indeed somewhat strange that the notion of the same genus 
of birds existing at one time in Australia and at a later period in 
New Zealand should ever have been thought inadmissable — yet it is 
difficult to see what other conception of the case could have been in 
the mind of Sir Richard Owen when he spoke of the advent of an 
Australian moa as ' an exceptional extension' of a New Zealand genus 
to Australia.' At the same time it is by no means to be regretted 
that Owen did take this view, and that in consequence he regarded 
with suspicion any Australian claim to Moa rank, however well 
accredited It is to the stimulation of his critical faculty by incre- 
dulity that we owe the full assurance that there has existed a bird 
which, though not Dinornis, had much in it pertaining to Dinornis, a 


degree of affinity which under the circumstances could not have been 
overstated, but, as stated, is quite sufficient to shew that Australia 
was the nursery of the sept. 

But let us quit generalities for the more immediate object in hand, 
viz., a brief review of the recorded occurrences of the Moa stock in 
Australian deposits. As if to excite a hope that such occurrences 
would be frequent, the first of all the extinct birds of Australia to be 
drawn from those deposits and made known to science was a struthious 
bird dwarfing in size not only existing Cassowaries and Emus, but the 
Emu which was contemporary with it. A thighbone of this bird was 
discovered in the year 1836 by Sir Thomas Mitchell in abrecchia cave 
in Wellington Valley, New South Wales. It was examined by Sir 
Richard Owen and figured by him in an appendix to Mitchell's 
'Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia,' 1838. 
At that time, as we are subsequently informed, Owen determined the 
bone ' to belong to a large bird probably from its size struthious or 
brevipennate, but not presenting in its femur characters which 
justified him in suggesting closer affinities.' The study of Moa bones 
in after years enabled him, he says, to perceive that in some features 
of importance the cave femur 'resembles that bone in the Emu rather 
than in Dinornis.' We learn further that 'the length of this fossil 
was 13 inches, the breadth of the middle of the shaft not quite 3 
inches' — measurements which are noteworthy, as they render it 
apparent that in its dilated proportions the bone was much more like 
the Dinornis femur than that of the Emu which has a breadth of 
only 1^ inches to a length of 8| inches. 

Thirty-three years elapsed before any further light was thrown 
upon a problem which was sufficiently obscure. It then issued from 
the Peak Downs, near the centre of Queensland, where in 1869 a well 
was being sunk. The workmen passed through thirty feet of the 
residuum of basaltic decomposition, the ' black soil' characteristic of 
'Downs' country, then through 150 feet of drift pebbles and boulders. 
Lying on one of the boulders, at 180 feet from the surface, they met 
with a short thick femur, which was happily preserved from the 
usual fate experienced by such finds, and more happily, passed into 
the hands of the well-known geologist, the Rev. W. B. Clarke. In 
concert with Mr. G. Krefft, then Curator of the Australian Museum, 
Mr. Clarke compared it with moa bones, with the result that he felt 
himself justified in announcing the discovery in the Geological 
Magazine of that year in a letter entitled ' Dinornis an Australian 
genus.' At Sir R. Owen's solicitation a cast of this bone was sent to 
him by the Trustees of the Australian Museum, and this, in 1872, 
formed the subject of a communication from Owen to the Geogra- 
phical Society (Trans., vol. 8, p. 381). After pointing out at length 
the characters in which this femur resembles Dinornis and Dromteus 
(Emu) respectively, the examiner decides "that in its essential 
characters it resembles more that bone in the Emu than in the Moa, 
and that the characters in which it more resembles Dinornis are 
concomitant with and related to the more general strength and 
robustness of the bone, from which we may infer that the species 
manifested dinornithic strength and proportions of the hind limbs 
combined with characters of closer affinity to the existing more 


slender limbed and swifter wingless bird peculiar to the Australian 
continent." To the bird represented by the fossil Owen gave the 
name Droruornis, a name significant of his conception of the para- 
mount affinity displayed by its femur. If with that judgment a 
succeeding observer finds it impossible to completely harmonize his 
own conclusion, and says so, it is because in this case compulsion 
rides roughshod over peril. That the Dromornis bone has important 
features which relate it to the Emu rather than to the Moa is a 
position which is unassailable — but that these alone are its 'essential' 
characters is a postulate and one that has no right to command 
assent. Essential they are among the Droma?an features of the bone; 
but of the compound Dromornis bone as a whole they form but a 
part of the essentials. The absence of the air-duct communicating 
with the interior of the bone, a characteristic dinornithic feature, seems 
quite as important as a structural index to habit as the Dromtean set 
of the head of the bone, and being strictly dinorthic, it is not ' related 
to the general strength and robustness of the bone' but to its compara- 
tive solidity. Again the ' dinornithic strength and proportions of the 
hind-limbs ' is a reminder which should carry more weight than it 
was probably intended to bear, but is nevertheless but a partial 
statement of the fact — for it leaves out of consideration the great 
difference in the relative proportions of the bone under examination. 
It is not that the bone is altogether larger or smaller in the same 
ratios of length and breadth but in different ratios — the Dromornis 
and Dinornis ratio being much the same. The Dromornis femur is 
but one-third longer than that of the Emu, yet its shaft is twice as 
thick transversely, and its upper end is more than twice as broad. 
With such bones the bird would probably have the general appear- 
ance, the gait and habits of a Moa rather than those of an Emu. In 
short, Dromornis exhibits at the least an intermediate form between 
the Moa and Emu, probably a nearer approximation to the former 
than to the latter. 

After another interval of fifteen years a third dinornithic bone 
was picked up in King's Creek, on the Darling Downs, by Mr. 
Daniels, and by him presented with other contemporaneous fossils to 
the Queensland Museum. This again presents the upper end of a 
thighbone, but minus the upper part of the great trochanter, which 
appears to have been shorn off by the abrading action of drift sand 
while the bone projected from the bed of a watercourse — in other 
respects it is in excellent preservation. Eepeated comparison of this 
bone with species of Dinornis, with Dromornis, Casuarius, Drornaeus, 
Struthio and Ehea has removed from the mind of its describer all 
doubt of the former existence of the typical Moa in Australia. To 
him it appears to resemble as closely any one of the femurs from New 
Zealand as any two of these, specifically different, resemble each 
other, a view which of course implies the absence from it of features 
notably present in the Emu bone. The most important of these is 
one to which reference has already been made. The ' head ' of the 
bone or that hemispherical projection which fits into the corres- 
ponding cavity of the hip-bone stands out prominently in the Moas in 
consequence of the neck behind it being somewhat long and of 
considerably diminished diameter, whereas in the Emu the neck is 


short and thick, so that the limits of the head, especially on its upper 
surface, are less distinguishable. In this feature, easier to recognize 
by inspection than by description, Droniornis agrees with the Emu, 
while the Queensland Moa exhibits the comparatively slender neck 
and well-defined head of its New Zealand successors. It is not 
necessary at this moment to insist upon the value of the several 
characters which aid in the generic identification of this bone with 
Dinornis — they are to be found by anyone sufficiently interested in 
the matter in the Proceedings of the Eoyal Society of Queensland for 
] 884 — to others a recapitulation of them would be tedious. 

Unfortunately the identification has not yet been supported by 
further testimony, a circumstance which can hardly be thought sur- 
prising when the extreme slowness with which dinornithic remains 
have been brought to light is borne in mind — three bones in over 
half-a-century has been the rate of discovery hitherto. Adding to 
these three, others from which no precise information can be derived, 
viz., two ribs provisionally referred to Droniornis and the shaft of a 
femur too imperfect for determination, but certainly not Droniornis, 
and in all probability, not Dinornis, all the fossils of this kind known 
to the writer have been mentioned. In a fairly numerous collection 
of bones of contemporary birds the paucity of such fossils is conspi- 
cuous, but it would hardly be safe to infer from that circumstance 
that the birds themselves were rare. The most we can say is that they 
were not among the ordinary frequenters of the lower levels in which 
the ossiferous drifts of the period were accumulating. Is is therefore 
with sustained eagerness that every fresh tribute of bones is received 
and inspected, since the hope is always present that it may contain 
some further proof of the reality of the Queensland Moa as convincing 
to others as it would be welcome to its assertor. 

Be it at the same time observed that there is no reason why a 
greater amount of proof should be demanded in this case than in 
others. There is no inherent improbability involved by it so great as 
to justify inordinate doubt, since the passage of Dromornis into 
Dinornis is not so long and difficult a matter as to require for its 
accomplishment a new home and a geological remove. The only 
objection to be raised against it is that it confirms and accentuates 
the antecedent difficulty created by Droniornis itself, the difficulty of 
accounting for the presence of Moas in New Zealand under their 
lately existing circumstances. It is not a mystery that they should 
have been there at all since it is anything but incredible that a subsi- 
dence of ten or twelve thousand feet should during a geological age 
which has seen the whole Australian fauna profoundly changed, have 
taken place in an area liable to volcanic disturbance such as we see 
effects of in Australia and feel the throes of in New Zealand. Before 
that subsidence, Mount Cook from a height about equal to the Cordil- 
leran peak of elevation, Aconcagua, would have looked down and over 
continuous land as far as the snowcapped mountains of Queensland, 
the view unhindered by the intervening peak of Lord Howe's Island, 
the refuge of Meiolanian reptiles once in communication with their 
kinsfolk in Australia. The true difficulty is not the isolation of New 
Zealand from Australia, but the strange isolation of the Moas from 
all other forms peculiar to Australian life. Why should their stock 


alone have escaped to an eminence of the sinking surface, or alone 
been introduced into the insulated land, or alone survived some 
change in its life conditions fatal to the rest"? The Moa in New 
Zealand is the question that calls for an explanation, and in proof 
that it does call for an explanation and is not to be dismissed as a 
voiceless phantasy, we point to Dromornis followed (structurally) by 
Dinornis in Australia, and we wait for its solution in the work of 
New Zealand's naturalists. 


The interesting notes by Mr. E. M. Laing " On the occurrence 
of the Trap-door Spider at Lyttelton," which appeared in the March 
number of this Journal, add considerably to our knowledge of the 
habits, economy, and distribution of the species. As it is not 
uncommon here about the terraces and river flats, and in neglected 
gardens, it certainly coincides with Mr. Laing's remark that the 
spider " seems to be much more widely distributed than was at first 
presumed." A few years ago I examined numbers of their nests in 
the Waiareka valley, near Oamaru, the locality, I believe, where the 
original specimens were obtained, but all the specimens and their 
nests that T have observed here, are much smaller than those occur- 
ring near Oamaru. The various habitats and positions of the nests 
observed by Mr. Laing at Lyttelton, would apply hi most instances 
here, but I observe that the lining or web, covering the walls of the 
nests, varies greatly in texture according to the loose or binding 
nature of the soil in which they occur. When the nests are con- 
structed in fine sandy soil they are frequently lined with a thick 
white web, which doubtless prevents the nests from caving in, and 
probably affords warmth and makes them more impervious to wet. 
In this district they are found commonly in the open among low 
herbage growing on the river flats, and on the slopes of the terraces 
at various grades, but in the Waiareka valley, Oamaru, I found them 
more numerous in a long belt of gum trees than on the open downs. 
This was probably due to the ground not being disturbed by the 
plough, or by sheep and cattle depasturing on it, as well as its forming 
the chief haunt of nocturnal insects in a district where the native 
vegetation is very scant. 

■' Mr. Laing's remarks on the structure of the trap-doors, and the 
difficulty of detecting them in some situations, would appear to 
indicate the presence of mimetic resemblances, yet under certain 
conditions the nests are at times very easily detected. For instance, 
when any nests occurring on bare ground and that are more or less 
covered with fine loose earth have the trap-doors moved on damp 
nights or after rain, the first sunshine afterwards soon dries the fine 
loose soil covering the doors, and leaves conspicuous rings or circular 
patches of dry soil over and around them. Such indications of the 


spider's presence rnay sometimes possibly enable their enemies, the 
highly sensitiTe and keen-eyed Pompilus to capture them. Where 
the nests occur among moss as mentioned by Mr. Laing, or among 
low, close-growing vegetation their presence is at all times more 
difficult to detect. I think Mr. Laing's description of the form and 
structure of the trap-doors is most probably the right one, as T hare 
invariably lound them to be flat, or very slightly arched, but never 
plug-shaped. Of course there may occasionally be exceptions, but 
such may sometimes be the result of accident, caused by any weight 
resting or falling on the lid. I however, think that the flat-door 
would naturally be more serviceable to the spiders, in enabling them 
to insert their claws between the top of the nest and the door when 
opening it. In the case of the exceptional nest with a " cork-type " 
door, it is to be regretted that Mr. Laing did not capture the spider 
within it. 

In regard to the editorial footnote to Mr. Laing's paper (page oi) 
on the subject of wasps stinging spiders, and rendering them for a 
time comatose, I may here briefly refer to the habits of Pompilus (Prioz- 
ne?nisj fugax, one of the handsomest of our native wasps. Unlike many 
indigenous Hymenoptera in New Zealand, it appears to increase 
slowly in numbers in cultivated districts. This appears to be due to 
the presence of a common spider* {Cambridge^, fasciaia), which it 
captures and stores in its nest to feed its larva. Like the introduced 
humble-bee it generally builds its nest in dry cavities or cracks in 
raised sod-banks beneath gorse hedges. The nests are built wiflj 
soft clay, which apparently undergoes some process of refinement by 
the wasps during their elaboration. The wasps appear here about 
the middle of November, and until the middle of January may 
occasionally be seen hunting vigorously for then* prey about gorse 
hedges, and clumps of young Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium). 
The motions of the wasps when in search of spiders are rapid and 
wary. When hunting on the ground they run and leap a few paces 
alternately — the antennae and wings meanwhile quivering rapidly. 
Although I have never observed a wasp seize a spider when running 
over the low herbage, I am inclined to think that they are in search 
of spiders that inhabit or conceal themselves in such situations. 
When the wasps are hunting in gorse hedges, it is remarkable how 
swiftly they move through or over the j)lants, stopping suddenly at 
intervals, and remaining motionless for a few seconds, as if hstening 
cautiously for sounds or movements of then." prey. I have never seen 
a wasp actually seize and kill a spider, but I have on several oc-c-asions 
seen them dragging the insensible and dead spiders to then 
If the spider is a large one, the wasp walks backwards draggi-__ it 
along by a succession of jerks. They sometimes mutilate the spiders 
before plastering them up in the egg cells, as 1 have found i2ie 
mutilated limbs of several spiders in different cells.T According to 

* Lately named for me by Mr. Govec, of the Otago Education Departme: - 

+ In a paper " On New 3 : New Zealand Aranere" (Trans. "S.Z. Institute, 

vol. XXII., p. 269) Mr. Goyen mentions tie difficulty of capturing swifi ... 

long-limbed spiders intact. It is possible that the was - . - . :-, may 

occasionally detach a limb in the struggle, without succeeding in stinging - 
which may sometimes account for the presence of their limbs in serf lin sells. 


my experience with the nests the number of egg-cells or chambers in 
each is from five to eight, and they vary considerably in size. I may 
add that on December 26th last, I was stung between the fingers by 
one of these wasps, but the sting was neither so sore or painful as the 
sting of the humble-bee (Apis mellifica). I may also add that two 
other species of spider-hunting wasps, viz., P. monachus and P. carbo- 
narias, are both common in the Waiareka valley, the locality where 
the trap-door spider exists in great numbers. 

W. W. Smith. 


Lyon & Blair, Wellington, 1891. 

Carl Abel in one of bis Essays says — " If two or more languages 
are contrasted, each being previously analysed, this compai'ison of 
thoroughly prepared materials will have paved the way to realise national 
peculiarities of thought. As there are hardly any words in any two 
languages completely representing each other, the amount of conscious 
knowledge to be gained by the comparison of what exists half uncon- 
sciously in every land, cannot be overestimated. . . It seems to us, 
that linguistic science, psychologically conceived, contains a wealth of 
the most intei'esting and important tasks scarcely dreamt of till now." 

In the book now before us Mr. Tregear has presented to the scientific- 
world a mine of precious material, much of it new, some till now buried 
in little known works, all of it interesting. The words of Carl Abel 
quoted above are fully justified by the results now laid before us of a 
comparison of Polynesian words and ideas. The Maori student in 
particular will welcome the opportunity now afforded to him of com- 
paring the forms and equivalent values of cognate words in the great 
Polynesian area, and not only does the author extend the facilities for 
linguistic comparisons, but he now for the first time presents a Compa- 
rative Mythology of Oceania. This has long been needed and will be 
warmly welcomed. The thorough way in which the author works may 
be well seen under the word Haiwaiki— there is in this article alone 
the material for a volume. See also the hero-god — Wenuku, the story 
of his eventful life and of his magical powers would furnish the motif 
for an epic of Homeric interest. Then again the Hina myth is not only 
a celebrated one in Maori lore but variants, all telling of the doings of 
Hina "lovely blossom, whose home is in the sky," are found in Hawaii, 
Manahiki, Samoa, and Mangaia (possibly the original home of Cockneys, 
as there they persistently drop the letter h). Here also we make the 
acquaintance of the great Hine-mu-te-po, the goddess of the realm of 
night, in trying to pass through whose domain, to deliver the souls of 


men from death, Maiu was slain. At page 558 we find the New 
Zealand Deluge Legends, and also the very curious Marquesan version of 
Te Tai Toko, or the Flood, with its remarkable parallelism with the 
Chaldean accounts. 

The materials here indicated are carefully put together and the 
needful references duly given. One very useful part of the book is the 
list of works consulted by the author, as it gives in a handy form a list 
of the chief authorities on the general Ethnology of the South Seas. 
The whole of the readers of this Journal will, I am sure, sympathise 
with Mr. Tregear's note on page XII., concerning Mr. Colenso's great 
Lexicon of the Maori language, and will, with him, continue to hope 
that the patient, earnest and scholarly labour of a long and well spent 
life will yet be " born into the world of letters." Although dealing 
more strictly with the word forms of the Maori language, Mr. Colenso's 
Maori Lexicon must contain much of that special knowledge of the 
Maori race, of which, in New Zealand, he is the sole possessor. 

Of the philological value of the kindred words brought together 
by Mr. Tregear, it will be for the student of philology to judge in the 
light of the ever advancing knowledge of the national psychology of the 
races of the Pacific. From the great island of New Guinea we may 
expect much valuable material for the philologist, as that area seems to 
be a definite point of contact between a conquering and a conquered 
race. We are as yet only in the dawn of the light which will be thrown 
by philological research on the race problems of existing nations. 

Turning to another branch of the enquiry we find that at the end 
of the book are given "endless genealogies"— extracts from the "Burke 
and Debrett " of Polynesia. Beside these lines of ancestry, those who 
" came over with the Conqueror " are mushrooms indeed. Look at that 
of Minirapa Tamahiwaki of the Chatham Islands, who proudly counts 
180 generations of forefathers; of Beha of the Uriwera tribe, with 135 
ancestors ; of the Chiefs of Hawaii, and of the Kings of Barotonga and 
Raiatea. Here we have linguistic monuments of past ages equal in 
interest to the dynasties of Egypt, and lights though dim, on the 
childhood of the world. 

As a contribution to the general history of the Maori people the 
book is of special value, and now that the author of the " History of 
the Maori" has passed to his rest, it is to be hoped that the Government 
will see their way to place the remainder of the work of the late Mr. 
John White in the hands of Mr. Tregear for publication. It is to be 
desired however, that at some future time the volumes already issued of 
that work will be re-edited, and the plates which at present disgrace 
the work be replaced by some more suited to its character. 

Mr. Tregear-, and the public generally, are much indebted to the 
publishers for the extremely creditable form in which the Maori 
Comparative Dictionary is issued; considering the difficulties of the 
work the errors and defects are trifling, and its publication marks an 
era in the literary history of the colony. 

Mr. Tregear's patient labour of many years is thus launched on the 
sea of literature, but before leaving the subject it will be as well to 
ditect the attention of all interested in Maori matters to a paper on 


" The Maoris of New Zealand," by Mr. Tregear, published in volume 
XIX. of the "Anthropological Institute of Great Britain, 1890." The 
paper has been written in reply to the code of " Questions " published 
in the "Journal of the Anthropological Institute," volume XVIII. • 
and next to the essay by the Rev. W. Colenso, on the Maoris, published 
in the first volume of the " Transactions of the New Zealand Institute," 
contains the fullest and best account of the Natives of these Islands. 

A. H. 


The following letter by T. A. Bereman, of Mt. Pleasant, Io., 
appeared in Science of 13th February. In view of the attention now 
being given to the subject of Antarctic Exploration, it is interesting 
and suggestive : — 

" It is difficult to bring the mind to believe that there ever was a 
time when there were no seasons, — spring, summer, autumn, and winter, 
— as now. In attempting to account for natural phenomena, we have 
nearly always assumed that the axis of the earth was originally inclined 
to the plane of the ecliptic at an angle of 23^°, as we now find it, and 
of course we in consequence have formed in our minds the idea of the 
annual recurrence of the seasons through all geological time ; but the 
elimination of the seasons from the early history of the earth has been 
forced upon us by the accumulation of facts from the geological record. 
There is abundant evidence to prove the existence of tropical or sub- 
tropical animals and plants in Arctic latitudes as late as the tertiary. 
In Professor Dana's "Manual of Geology" (third edition, p. 352) that 
author says, ' If we draw any conclusion from the facts, it must be that 
temperature of the Arctic zone differed little from that of Europe and 
America. Through the whole hemisphere, and we may siy world, 
there was a genial atmosphere for one uniform type of vegetables, and 
there were genial waters for corals and brachiopods.' Scarcely any one 
now, who is conversant with the facts, will deny that the early histcry 
of the earth was marked with a uniform, or nearly uniform, temperature, 
in all latitudes, prior to and including most of the tertiary. The main 
difference of opinion existing now among scientific men is how to 
account for such uniform, world climate. 

" So of the glacial period. Everyone admits that the great array 
of facts justifies the conclusion that the poles of the earth were, since 
the tertiary, covered with great ice caps or sheets several thousand feet 
thick, and reaching down to the 40th parallel of latitude, constituting 
the great glacial period. There is a wide divergence of ojnnion, how- 
ever, as to the origin or cause of this glacial cold. Mr. Croll, in his 
'Climate and Time,' has formulated a theory, derived from the secular 
changes in the eccentricity of the earth's 01 bit, through which he finds 



a place for the glacial period ; but this theory, if true, must provide for 
alternation of warm and cold periods at the poles throughout all geo- 
logical time. Professor James Geikie of Scotland, in his ' Great Ice 
Age,' indorses this theory, and attempts to find evidences of former 
glacial action, not only in the tertiary, but also in mesozoic and 
paleozoic times. But the weight of the evidence seems to be against 
this theory, and Mr. Geikie himself admits that that much of his 
'evidence ' is ' not very convincing.' 

"The best and most satisfactory explanation of the warm and cold 
periods at the poles has been made by Professor C. B. Warring, in a 
paper read by him before the New York Academy of Science, and pub- 
lished in the Popular Science Monthly for July, 1886. This paper 
merits a much more extended notice than it has apparently received, for 
its author has very strongly fortified his several propositions. Briefly, 
his argument is this : The existence of tropical vegetables in Arctic 
latitudes cannot be supported upon the theory of a warm tempera- 
ture only. Light was as necessary as heat ; and this light must also 
have been uniform and unbroken by long periods of darkness, for if 
there had been a long night of four months in every year, as now, it 
would have been fatal to all plants, and even many or most of the 
animals. Therefore, down to nearly the close of the tertiary, the axis 
of the earth was perpendicular to the ecliptic, and the days and nights 
were everywhere and always equal. The temperature was kept up by 
means of the carbonic acid and aqueous vapor in the atmosphere, which 
formed a sort of 'double blanket,' and served to retain the heat radiated 
from the sun. After a long period the carbonic acid was most of it 
taken up from the atmosphere to form our coal-beds, peat, petroleum, 
graphite, etc. This process was followed by a thinning of the retaining 
cover. The heat from the sun was not all retained, but was lost again 
by escaping into stellar space. 'Holes in the blanket' appeared at the 
poles, ice and snow began to accumulate there, and eventually the 
glacial epoch was inaugurated. Furthermore, he shows, that, according 
to the nebular hypothesis, the axes of the earth and moon ought to have 
been, in their normal condition, parallel with each other, and both 
perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic ; but instead, the earth's axis 
is inclined 23|°, while the moon's axis is practically perpendicular, it 
being inclined only 1° 30'. The change, therefore, was with that of the 
earth, and was effected since the moon's separation from the earth. 'In 
view of all these facts,' he says, ' it seems most probable that in that 
blank interval the glacial epoch s or more largely between the end of the 
miocene and the beginning of the Champlain, that movement occurred 
which gave the earth seasons, imequal days and nights, and greatly 
enlarged its limits of inhabitability. . . . When the axis became 
oblique, more solar heat fell within the polar circle, these regions became 
warmer, and the glacial epoch departed. If these conditions — a perpen- 
dicular axis and high uplifts — could be to-day restored, the atmosphere 
remaining as it is, the glacial epoch would return.' 

" It is the purpose of the present article to emphasise the reasons 
for believing the direction of the earth's axis was changed about the 
time stated above, and also to suggest the probable cause of the change. 
In order to do this more intelligently, we must take a more comprehen- 


sive view of the glacial epoch and all its attendant phenomena than is 
usually found in any one or many of the text-books, or papers, reports, 
and lectures, upon the subject. Of all the geological changes and revo- 
lutions in the earth, out of which has been evolved the present world of 
animal and plant life, the glacial epoch is certainly the most unique, 
and full of interest to the scientific observer. What caused the glacial 
cold has been the constant inquiry, but never answered, ever since it 
was first proposed some forty or fifty years ago. Why should corals 
live in security in Spitzbergen, and the red-woods of California and the 
cypress-trees of the southern United States flourish in the north of 
Greenland as late as tertiary times, where now are the almost constant 
rigors of an Arctic winter? What caused the recession of the glaciers, 
and why may we not have a recurrence of them ? What influence, if 
any, did the polar ice- caps exert upon the ocean-level and ocean- 
currents'? Were the ice-caps equal in magnitude; and if not, what 
effects, if any, followed such inequality, from the attraction of the sun 
and moon upon the mass of the earth, thus abnormally distributed? 
These questions and kindred ones must be considered before we are 
prepared to comprehend the full significance and consequence of the 
glacial epoch. 

" It seems incredible that a great ice-cap, several thousand feet 
thick, should accumulate, and remain throughout the summer, in the 
temperate zones, if the ecliptic were as oblique in those times as now. 
The sun on the 21st of June would be nearly perpendicular to the 
southern limit of the glacier, and would certainly exert a powerful 
influence in preventing its formation or accumulation south of the 
northern limits of Minnesota. On the other hand, bower, if we place 
the sun continuously perpendicular at the equator, the temperate zone 
would be characterized by continual spring weather similar to that 
occurring in A pril at the present time. In such case we may readily 
conclude that the precipitations of snow might be greater than that 
melted by the slanting rays of the vernal sun, and hence might continue 
to increase, and form a glacier of ice. 

"It appears that the polar ice-caps in glacial times extended as far 
as the 30th parallel of latitude from either pole ; in some places the 
north glacier in the United States extended as far south as the 39th 
and even to the 38th parallel ; and in South America Professor Agassiz 
found evidences of glacial action as far north as the 37th parallel. Mr. 
D. Forbes informed Mr. Darwin that he had seen ice-worn rocks and 
scratched stones at about 12,000 feet height, between 13° and 30° south 
latitude. There seems also some evidence of glacial action in the south- 
east corner of Australia. In northern Asia, owing to the great extent 
of land surface, it may be reasonably inferred that the southern limit of 
the glacier was much beyond that in the United States. The mountain 
ranges in both hemispheres doubtless were covered with a much greater 
accumulation of snow and ice than they are at present, extending at 
that time to within the tropics, and perhaps to the equator. But from 
the whole record, we may safely assume 40° as the average limit of 
each, the southern being the more widely extended of the two. There 
are many evidences that these ice-sheets were not confined to the land, 
but that they crossed gulfs, seas, and even oceans. Professor H. Carvill 


Lewis, in a lecture published in the Journal of the Franklin Institute 
for April, 1883, says, ' It probably also filled the bed of the Atlantic 
with ice far south of Greenland, the edge of the glacier reaching from 
Newfoundland to southern Ireland in a concave line ;' and Professor 
Geikie says the German Ocean was entirely filled with ice. Similar 
evidence has been found as to the antarctic glacier. We have therefore 
two magnificent circular polar ice-caps, each of them nearly 7,000 miles 
in diameter, and the two covering about 61,000,000 square miles of the 
earth's surface, leaving a zone of non-glaciated surface at the equator of 
about 130,000,000 square miles; so that, at the culmination of the 
glacial epoch, nearly one-third of the earth's surface was covered with 

" If, now, we could ascertain the thickness of these great glaciers, 
we could easily estimate the amount of the earth's mass taken up in 
the form of aqueous vapour, transferred to the polar areas, and there 
deposited in the form of snow and ice. While admitting the incom- 
pleteness of the record, the weight of the evidence at present is to the 
effect that the antarctic glacier was much larger than the arctic. Upon 
general reasoning, this ought to have been true ; for three-fourths of 
the land surface of the earth are in the northern hemisphere, and the 
amount of water suface in the southern and northern hemispheres res- 
pectively is in the ratio of 85 to 60. In the southern hemisphere, 
therefore, there ought to have been a greater amount of evaporation ; 
and, in the absence of any known air-currents to carry this evaporation 
to the north of the equator, there would necessarily be a greater amount 
of precipitation in the southern hemisphere, and consequently a greater 
accumulation of ice. That such was the fact in glacial times, seems to 
be indicated by what is conceded to be an imperfect record. Professor 
Dana, in his ' Manual of Geology,' estimates the thickness of the 
northern glacier in America to have been 11,500 feet on the watershed 
of Canada. Professor Le Conte, in his ' Elements of Geology,' says, 
' The archsean region of Canada seems to have been . . . covered 
with a general ice mantle 3,000 to 6,000 feet thick ;' and Professor 
James Geikie says the Scandinavian ice-sheet ' could hardly have been 
less than 6,000 or 7,000 feet thick.' As Norway extends nearly to the 
7'2nd parallel of north latitude, it is not probable that the northern 
glacier exceeded two miles in thickness at its greatest height. Professor 
Le Conte says, ' Greenland is apparently entirely covered with an 
immense sheet of ice, several thousand feet thick, which moves slowly 
seaward, and enters the ocean through immense fiords. Judging from 
the immense barrier of icebergs found by Capt. Wilkes on its coast, the 
antarctic continent is probably even more thickly covered with ice than 
Greenland.' Sir James Clark Ross reports having sailed for several 
hundred miles along a perpendicular wall of ice 180 to 200 feet high in 
the antarctic continent, and found only one place where the top of the 
ice could be seen from the mast-head of his ship ; and Capts. Cook and 
Wilkes both confirm the report of a large ice-sheet in that part of the 
world. Professor Croll, in ' Climate and Time,' estimates from all the 
data at hand, that the thickness of the southern ice-cap at its greatest 
height is no less than twelve miles. It is not probable that the 
antarctic glacier was much, if any, higher than this in glacial times; for 
it will be readily understood, that, after the glaciation had proceeded so 


far as to place the south pole in the midst of a vast ice-plain, the in- 
coming clouds from the surrounding oceans would deposit most of their 
moisture before reaching the centre, and the glacier would be built up 
at or near its circumference. Hence we should expect to find the 
glacier, instead of thinning gradually from twelve miles at the centre to 
nothing at its outward edges, would present more the appearance of a 
great section of a hollow sphere of nearly uniform thickness, laid over 
the earth at the pole. 

"Further confirmation of this view is found in the fact that the 
southern hemisphere has a cooler mean annual temperature than the 
northern. Mr. Croll says this is due to the constant transference of 
heat to the north by means of ocean-currents, nearly all the great 
currents originating south of the equator ; while Sir Charles Lyell 
thinks the true cause lies in the fact of the smaller extent of land 
surface in the south. It is also true that from March 20 to Sept. 22 — 
the duration of the sun's northern declination — there are 186 days, 
while from the autumnal to the vernal equinox there are only 179 
days : the northern summer is therefore seven days longer than the 
southern summer, and the southern winter is that much longer than the 
northern. If this inequality in the length of the summer and winter 
in the two hemispheres had its origin during the glacial epoch, it would 
at least have the effect of melting the ice in the north more rapidly 
than in the southern hemisphere ; and if it existed before glacial times, 
the effect would have been to accelerate the growth of the southern ice- 
cap more rapidly than that of the northern. 

"At the culmination of the glacial epoch, therefore, Ave may assume 
that the northern glacier Avas of an average thickness of 1 mile, and iu 
extent about 25,000,000 square miles, making 25,000,000 cubic miles 
of ice : that the area covered by the southern glacier Avas about 
30,000,000 square miles, and 5 miles of average thickness, making 
150,000,000 cubic miles of ice ; and the two extending over more than 
one-fourth of the earth's surface, and aggregating 175,000,000 cubic 
miles of ice. These two gigantic ' fossils ' avouUI be equal in siz \ to 
about one-thirtieth part of the bulk of the moon, and avouIcI represent 
an amount of evaporation from the Avater surface of the earth sufficient 
to lower the sea-leA r el more than 5,000 feet, or about one mile. 

" Now, I submit that the attraction of the sun and moon upon this 
mass of ice would, if continued for a long time, be sufficient to effect 
some change in the direction of the earth's axis. Just how much that 
change would be, I have not determined ; but that there would be some 
change seems to be evident from the bare statement of the proposition. 
When Ave consider that this matter has been removed to the poles from 
the equatorial regions, the inequality of distribution of the earth's mass 
Avould be greatly augmented. The action and re-action of the sun and 
moon and the planets on the protuberant mass of matter about the 
equator produce what is called ' nutation,' and the precession of the 
equinoxes. Now, this mass being equally distributed around the earth 
like a ring at the equator, only the nutation, or nodding, of the axis is 
produced. But in case of the antarotic ice-cap the result of tli3 attrac- 
tion would be somewh (.t different ; for, this being largely at one side o. - 


at the pole, and the moan attraction of the moon being in the plane of 
the ecliptic, its tendency would be to draw the mass towards the ecliptic 
— so far, at least, until an equilibrium should be found. 

"That the relative magnitudes of the two polar ice-sheets should 
always remain the same, would hardly be presumed. The sinking of 
the ice to the bottom of the Northern Atlantic would necessarily cut off 
the Gulf Stream, and prevent its further progress northward, if it 
existed in preglacial times. Even if the ice extended only a few 
hundred feet below the surface, it would materially interfere with that 
current, since it is a broad shallow stream, flowing upon the top of the 
ocean. Similar conditions in the southern ocean might have aided the 
causes already named in effecting a change or changes in the relative 
sizes of the two great glaciers. During such changes, therefore, if any 
existed, oscillations of the earth's axis may have occurred before it 
became fixed as at present. We should therefore expect to find pauses 
in the recession, and perhaps a re-advance, of the northern glacier ; and 
such we do actually find from an examination of the great Kettle 
Moraine in the northern United States, and of the I'eindeer epoch in 

"As already stated, the ocean-level would be very materially 
lowered. Thus we can account, in part at least, for the land elevations 
in high latitudes, to which all geologists resort for a partial explanation 
of glacial phenomena. True, this lowering of the level would be co- 
extensive with the entire ocean surface ; and the old shore-lines would 
be found, if discovered at all, below the present water-level. But, as 
Professor Dana says, ' elevations of land do not leave accessible records 
like subsidences.' One of the strongest evidences of land elevation is 
the existence of numerous extensive fiords, which Professor Dana says 
are ' valleys of erosion,' and which Professor Le Conte calls ' half-sub- 
merged glacial valleys.' But, as the ice did not exist at sea-level in low 
latitudes, these fiords are not found there as fossil remains to mark the 
degree of elevation. But we know that England was united to the 
continent of Europe by dry land, that the Mediterranean sea was an 
interlocked fresh-water lake, that the delta of the Mississippi was at 
least 400 feet higher than it is at present, and that many of the islands 
of the Pacific Ocean were at a higher level. Professor Winchell, in his 
' Pre- Adamites,' says that probably the now sunken continent of 
Lemuria, in the Indian Ocean, was dry land during the glacial period, 
as were also some of the Malay Islands and others. Professor Le Conte 
says, ' The boldness of the whole Pacific coast, especially in high lati- 
tudes, indicates a previous more elevated condition of the land surface 
[during the quaternary] than now exists ;' and Mr. Darwin thinks that 
' at this period of extreme cold the climate under the equator at the 
level of the sea was about the same with that now felt there at the 
height of six or seven thousand feet.' 

" Moreover, if this inequality in the amount of the accumulation 
at the two poles existed as intimated, it would be sufficient to remove 
the centre of gravity of the earth a little to the southward of its former 
position. This would be followed by a greater flow of water from the 
north polar regions ; and here we would have another cause ot land 
elevation in high northern latitudes, since lowering the water is equiva- 


lent to an elevation of the land. While there may have been local 
elevations and subsidences of the land surface in high latitudes during 
the glacial and Champlain periods, there seems to be strong reason for 
believing that the growth and decay of the two great ice-barriers added 
materially to such changes of level by alternately lowering and elevating 
the general ocean surface. This lowering of the sea-level might be 
taken into account in considering the question of the geographical 
distribution of plants and animals ; but it is not my design to pursue 
that branch of the subject here. 

"The suggestion here made that the large accumulation of the 
earth's mass at the south pole was one of the contributive causes of the 
change in the direction of the earth's axis, is but a corollary to Dr. 
Warring's statement, that ' between the end of the miocene and the 
beginning of the Champlain, that movement occurred which gave the 
earth seasons, unequal days and nights, and greatly enlarged its limits 
■of inhabitability.' " 


The inaugural address of the present session of the Otago Univer- 
sity was delivered by Mr. David Wilkinson, Fellow of the Royal School 
of Mines, who is the newly appointed lecturer on Metallurgy. We 
reproduce the conclusion of Mr. Wilkinson's address, which dealt with 
the importance of scientific metallurgy and mining from a commercial 
as well as an educational point of view. 

" We are now arriving at the conclusion that the training of the 
workshop and of the mine, however valuable, can each be advantageously 
supplemented by the training to be obtained in the laboratory and the 
lecture room. It is noticeable here how extremely utilitarian we are 
becoming. We are not now entirely satisfied with the elegance, suavity 
and refinement that is undoubtedly imparted by contact with the 
classical authors. The slow, easy-going times of the beginning of this 
centmy have passed away in the eternal competition of nations and of 
individuals. We can no longer afford to let those chances of advance- 
ment slip which have been so readily taken advantage of by other 
people. Thus we arrive at the Englishman's unfailing query, do the 
benefits to be derived from the training you speak of more than 
counterbalance the expenditure of money and energy required for this 
purpose? The advantage to the individual at any rate is unquestionable. 
To confine ourselves again to illustrations from the mining world. 
How often has it been pointed out that the tendency of the purely 
practical man is to suppose that the methods he has learnt in his 
particular district are applicable to all conditions. I may say, without 
fear of contradiction, that the man who knows his work, by the training 
of his hands and the education of his mind, must possess greater 
adaptability than the man who works only by rule of thumb. His 


education has been obtained in a small school, and unless he possesses 
rare intelligence his knowledge will be correspondingly narrow. It 
would not be difficult to give you many examples of this from that 
most conservative of English counties — Cornwall. From the younger 
miners tb^re one bears continually the observation : We are 20 years 
behind the Americans in mining methods. Yet the Cornish miner, as 
an individual, is not surpassed by any other miner in the world. One 
could not point to better examples for illustrating this than those which 
can be seen or read of in the United States. Disregarding these, 
however, for the moment, I should like to give you two examples 
which are now historical. For' the appreciation of our first example it 
is necessary to understand how gold occurs in the lodes from which it 
can be economically extracted. Gold may be said to occur in two 
conditions — first, as a native metal; and, second, in intimate com- 
bination with other metallic compounds. When found native, gold 
readily alloys with mercury, forming an amalgam. Advantage is taken 
of this fact in the ordinary separation of gold from its veinstuff. In 
this case mercury is used as a collecting agent, as owing to its affinity 
for gold it readily absorbs any line particles which are brought into 
contact with it. When sufficiently saturated, the mercury with the 
alloyed gold is collected, placed in a retort and heated. By this 
treatment the mercury is distilled from the gold and can be used again 
for the same . purpose. Thus its extraction is comparatively simple. 
The only important question being how much there is of it. But when 
gold occurs in combination with metallic compounds like ordinary 
mundic, it will not readily alloy itself with mercury, and the ordinary 
treatment fails to extract it. The cause of this failure does not seem to 
have been fully recognised until one of those patient and ingenious 
men, known as German professors, not only saw the reason of this 
difficulty, but completely surmounted it. The substance in which gold 
is most generally found in this obstreperous condition is a compound of 
iron and sulphur. Now, Plattner reasoned thus : Either the gold is in 
some form of chemical combination with the sulphur of the pyrites, or 
it occurs as plates of almost infinitesimal thickness between the 
crystalline plates of the mineral. In other words, it is occluded by the 
mineral. Whatever the condition may be, the crystalline character of 
the mundic will be destroyed by roasting it, and so the gold will be 
liberated. Then possibly one may be able to extract the gold with 
mercury. But here a new difficulty is found. By roasting this 
mundic, an oxide of iron is formed, and it is found that this iron oxide 
has a deleterious effect on the mercury. In gold-mining phraseology, it 
" sickens " it. Thus it was necessary to tack about for a new method, 
and finally he hit upon the plan of treating this refractory gold with 
chlorine and then dissolving the chlorinated gold in water. By these 
means Plattner first solved the economical extraction of ore from 
pyrites. His plan has been largely adopted in America and Australia, 
and is now the source of considerable profit to gold mining companies. 
The Mount Morgan ore is, I believe, entirely treated by this process. 
May I ask your attention while I give you another example of this 
adaptability, one that has exerted a tremendous influence upon a still 
more important industry. At the British Association meeting in 1865, 
Sir H. Bessemer announced, amid considerable surprise and constei - - 


nation, the fact that lie had discovered a new method of producing steel 
direct from pig iron. The general practice to produce steel at this time 
was first by converting pig iron into wrought iron, and then by a slow 
and expensive process to change wrought iron into steel. This was a 
very circuitous way of ultimately making steel, for steel, speaking 
roughly, is intermediate in comparison with pig iron on the one hand 
and wrought iron on the other. The old process is something analagous 
to the action of the man who wishes to travel from Dunedin to Welling- 
ton, and who, to faciltate matters, goes first to Auckland. Bessemer saw 
this very clearly, and not only this, but the fact that steel could not be 
applied to many ordinary purposes unless some other process were 
invented. To convei"t pig into wrought iron a puddling furnace is 
used. In this furnace the iron is melted and exposed for a considerable 
time to the oxygen of the atmosphere and to the influence of a special 
furnace lining composed of oxide of iron, by this means the various 
impurities in the iron are burnt out. In this process considerable fuel 
is used to keep the iron in a molten state. With characteristic boldness 
BesBemer said in effect, why should not the heat given out in burning 
these impurities be used for keeping the iron in a molten state. If 
instead of passing the air over the surface of the metal, it could be 
urged through the metal so that the oxygen could come into contact 
with every particle almost simultaneously, then the process that now 
requires considerable labour and time could be completed much more 
efficaciously in a few minutes and with very little labour. For boldness 
of conception such a suggestion has perhaps never been equalled in the 
metallurgical art. The thought of urging air through tons of molten 
iron was rash enough to frighten the most courageous of iron smelters. 
How will the iron be kept molten, how will you prevent the burning of 
the iron and its consequent utter deterioration I Bessemer heeded not 
these gloomy forebodings, but for 15 years worked at his great 
invention, and ultimately overcame those enormous mechanical diffi- 
culties which beset every proposed change in the treatment of large 
masses of metal, and particularly so, when that metal has a high 
melting point. The effects of this invention upon the steel industry 
were simply marvellous. Steel at this time was selling at mor - e than 
£50 per ton, and could only be obtained in small quantities. The price 
has since fallen to £10 per ton, and the increase in its use is most 
extraordinary. There is perhaps no article of commerce the use of 
which has inci-eased so rapidly. It is said that at the time of this 
invention, 51,000 tons of steel were produced annually in Sheffield. 
Now the production has to be estimated by millions of tons. Steel is 
thus rapidly replacing cast and wrought iron for all conditions where 
strength and homogeneity are required. It would require a considerable 
length of time to enumerate the many ways in which this invention has 
benefited the engineering profession. How it has given to them greater 
possibilities, and a much wider field for their ingenuity I will merely 
mention one that you are all familiar with. The Forth bridge may, 
perhaps be regarded as one of the finest structures erected during this 
century, and one of which Scotland may justly be proud. I am not 
overstepping the mark, indeed, I am only repeating the words of a 
great authority on this subject, when I say that it could never have 
been built if the inventions of Bessemer, and of his equally famous 


contemporary Sir C. W. Siemens, had not been accomplished facts. 
Indeed, it would be extremely difficult to exaggerate the influence 
that these inventions have had upon the progress of mankind. It was 
not many yeai*s after Bessemer had perfected his invention that Dr. 
Percy pointed out the fact that in the Bessemer process, as then 
practised, one objectionable ingredient was not eliminated. This was 
phosphorus, and its presence in steel caused the metal to be brittle, and, 
for some purposes, totally untrustworthy. Dr. Percy's warning was for 
some time disregarded, until ' true as steel ' became a phrase of no 
meaning, if certain kinds of metal were included in this category. Thus 
there appeared to be no possibility of applying this extraordinary process 
to the pig iron produced from the cheapest and most abundant ores 
— because they contained too much phosphorus. This process that had 
so revolutionised the steel industry appeared to be strictly limited in its 
application. It was no doubt with considerable pride that the late Dr. 
Percy could in his later years point to the fact that this difficulty had 
been completely solved by three of his own pupils. The solution of 
this problem is without doubt one of the strongest evidences of the 
value of scientific education. The cause of the retention of the 
phosphorus was carefully traced. Experiments were tried time after 
time to discover a method of getting rid of tLis element without 
damaging the metal ; and at last, after months of patient toil a process 
Avas discovered and placed upon a working basis. Without the 
assistance of the analytical chemist progress in this direction would 
have been hopeless. The exact relation between the method of 
producing the steel, its composition, and its resulting physical 
properties, can only be traced by most accurate analyses. This 
statement is also true of all metallurgical industries. Unless the 
battery manager can accurately determine the average value of his 
ore and also of his tailings, how can he possibly estimate the success of 
his work or the direction in which the waste of gold is taking place. 
If again, the lead smelter is unable to estimate the silver aod lead in 
his slag or by analysis to gauge the fusibility of the extraneous 
material he wishes to flux, how will he be sure that lie is not allowing 
the precious metal to run to waste, or that he is not in great danger of 
having his furnace choked. I believe we should not have to travel far 
to find instances of this kind. The same statements are also true of the 
more speculative and uncertain mining industry. If to an always risky 
industry like that of mining there are added the mistakes due to careless 
or inefficient workmanship, or the misleading statements of professional 
speculators, is it any wonder that this otherwise interesting and lucrative 
profession ofttimes shows unmistakable symptoms of decay. By endea- 
vouring to raise the standard of intelligence in this special direction, we 
are only attempting what we have successfully achieved in medicine, in 
literature, and in many other branches of art and science. It is inte- 
resting and encouraging to know that we are not alone in this respect. 
Passing through the United States one is astonished at the extraordinary 
vigour of this movement. Boston can boast the finest institute of 
technology in the world. New York State, Pennsylvania, Michigan, 
Colorado, California, and many other States are Avell equipped, not only 
with universities, but also with technical colleges, and mining with its 
attendant sciences is, without doubt, the most important branch of 


technology taught in these institutions. In crossing the States I had 
the privilege of visiting two of these schools. The first was the one 
joined to Columbia College, New York city, and the second was the 
University of California. It is noticeable that in the formation of our 
curriculum, except in one or two particulars, we have consciously or 
unconsciously copied these two most prominent of American colleges. 
At Columbia College no student, unless he is a graduate, is allowed to 
dabble with the separate subjects. He is compelled to pass through a 
systematic course of study extending over four years, this rule being 
ostensibly framed for the purpose of making the education as trust- 
worthy and as complete as possible. Perhaps the most noticeable fact 
in the Calitornian School of Mines is the thorough equipment of the 
laboratories. Here one can see a gold extraction plant, second perhaps 
to none in the States for efficiency in the working of small parcels of 
ore. With this machinery at his command the student can make 
himself familiar with the peculiarities of the ores from different 
counties, and with the difficulties met with in the winning of the 
precious metal from them. Let us here observe that many of these 
instiutions are State paid. So much fcr America. Turning now to 
the old world we find that notwithstanding the proverbial slowness of 
our countrymen in the adoption of new methods, there has been for 40 
years a Royal School of Mines in London. Some of the most eminent 
British geologists, metallurgists, chemists, and mining engineers have 
passed through this school. To-day there are nearly 300 individual 
students on the books. I say individual advisedly, for, owing to the 
great demand for admission, a doubling of the laboratory accomodation 
is contemplated. But though there are so many in attendance at this 
place, it is worth our while to notice that there is an average of only 26 
turned out each year from the mining and metallurgical branches. It 
is noteworthy also that in this instance the school is supported by the 
State, although every reasonable effort is made to render it self- 
supporting. In Cornwall, also, a school of mines was established a few 
years ago, and bids fair to occupy a high position in this pluckiest of 
mining countries. In France there is the Ecole des Mines, and in 
Germany there are more of these academies than in any other country 
in Europe. To Germany doubtless belongs the credit of having first 
recognised the importance of technical training ; and both Englishmen 
and Americans have largely availed themselves of the superior training 
to be obtained at such places as Wiesbaden, Heidelberg, Clausthal, and 
Freiberg. It would indeed be strange if in a continent like Australia, 
possessing such vast stores of mineral wealth and so many vigorous 
sons to gather it, it would indeed be strange if a movement of a similar 
nature had not been successfully advocated. But it is not so. New 
South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia have all established schools 
of mines, and to us also, belongs the credit of recognising the 
importance of this innovation on our old educational establishments. 
Perhaps it would not be out of place if I were to give a brief 
account of what we have done and what we wish to do in the future. 
In accordance with the practice of the most notable institutions, the 
mining student is first educated in those fundamental sciences, without 
a knowledge of which no man can hope to study auy subject in a 
scientific manner. These are mathematics, physics, chemistry, and 


mechanics. They must always form the basis of a truly scientific 
education, and there is much wisdom in insisting upon the study of 
them. Then, as subjects more* especially adapted to their work, we 
have the courses of geology, mineralogy, applied mechanics, mining 
geology, mining and metallurgy; and as practical work there are the 
courses of mine surveying, practical mineralogy, including petrography 
and blowpipe analysis, and also assaying. Thus you see the training is 
intended to be sufficiently broad and comprehensive. In thus making 
so many subjects compulsory we are only following the advice of the 
most eminent educational authorities, which is : ' Do not specialise too 
soon, for each man has a faculty for some separate branch, and he will 
ultimately be attracted strongly, and "will probably devote himself 
almost entirely to this branch. If he does this too early in life, he will 
feel the need of a broad or liberal education before he has advanced 
very far ; for the sciences are so intertwined that it is impossible to 
study one for any length of time without requiring the knowledge of 
half a dozen more.' There is just one more remark to make upon this 
subject. The opinion of most men who have been connected for years 
with large scientific institutions is, that there is nothing so stimulating 
to an advanced student as the struggle for the elucidation of some 
problem. In this kind of work his power of applying the principles of 
the sciences he has learned, and his manipulative abilities are tested 
ofttimes to their utmost, and it is in this kind of work that he discovers, 
so to speak, his grit. Hence, though we are at the beginning, really, 
only of our work, yet we may hope in the not distant future to 
approach and to overcome those problems of mining and metallurgical 
interest which are always to be found in a comparatively young country 

like New Zealand The thorough investigation 

as to the acquisition of its mineral wealth is to the State as a whole of 
paramount importance. Excuse me for again referring to the United 
States, T do so because I know of no better example. The rapid growth 
of the States in population and wealth is a fact patent to all. Now, 
however much we may be opposed to a rapid increase in population, 
and particularly of an increase due to the mixture of such heterogeneous 
people as those oi the States, yet Ave are by no means averse to a similar 
increase of wealth. It would not be difficult to prove that this 
unparalleled development is largely due to the opening tip of vast 
mineral resources. Thus the production of the valuable fuels and 
metals has increased at a rate unprecedented in the history of mankind. 
The output of coal for example in the year 1860 was 15,000,000 tons, 
but the output in 1889 was 132,500,000 tons. In the year 1852 the 
output of copper was only 1,000 tons, in 1890 it was 121,560 tons, or 
half that of the total output of the world. The production of gold even 
now is almost equal to that of the whole of Australasia. But the 
increase in the production of iron is, perhaps, the most marvellous of 
all, for while in 1852 only 511,990 tons of pig iron were made, in 1890 
the output reached the gigantic total of 10,250,000. For many years 
it has beaten all other countries in the production of silver, and last 
year the enormous total of 4,167,0001b troy was obtained. We can 
form no proper estimate of this stupendous quantity. Just as this 
acquisition of wealth from the working of mineral deposits has been the 
greatest factor in the growth of the States, so also it svas this which 


caused the rapid colonisation of New South Wales, of Victoria, and of 
New Zealand. Since those early and successful efforts to work the gold 
deposits of this country there has been a long lull in this industry, and 
we hope that we are now at the nadir of our decrease. It seems to me 
that when the improvement does come, it will be in the form, either of 
the discovery of lodes other than in our gold reefs, or beds other than 
those of coal, or, as is perhaps more likely, of the successful working of 
our present low grade ores. It has been stated that the greatest 
wealth, mineralogically speaking, of a country is to be found in her 
poorest ores, and though at first sight this may seem a paradox, expe- 
rience has proved it to be true. In conclusion, let us notice that the 
success of our educational institutions does not rest entirely with the 
staff, or even with the students. Unless we have the sympathy of an 
enlightened public opinion we shall be hampered in our endeavours. 
We expect, we claim this sympathy, and I believe that in this also, we 
shall not be disappointed." 




BY J. T. CUNNINGHAM, M.A., Naturalist to the Marine Biological Association. 
" Zoologischer Anzeiger," I8th January, 1891, No. 354, p. 27. 

One of the most interesting questions which biological research has 
still to decide is whether adaptations in organisms are due to the natural 
selection of indefinite variations or to the definite influence of the 
conditions of life. One school of evolutionists, that of which Weismann 
is one of the most eminent leaders, maintains that every character in 
animals is an adaptation and every adaptation is sufficiently explained 
by indefinite variation and natural selection. Another school believes 
that many things are not adaptations and that those characters which 
are adapted are due to the definite influence of conditions. The former 
school would I suppose maintain that the whiteness of the lower sides 
of flat-fishes was an adaptation, and was due to selection. What is the 
especial advantage of this character to flat fishes I am unable to perceive. 
But it seems to me more probable that it is due in some way to the fact 
that little or no light can fall on the lower sides of these fishes, because 
these sides are generally in contact with the ground. 

The following experiment seems to me to support very strongly the 
latter views ; it was carried out in the Plymouth Laboratory of the 
Marine Biological Association. 

At the beginning of last May I received from Mevagissey in Corn- 
wall a large number of young flounders (Pleuronectes flesus) in process 
of metamorphosis. They were very transparent and measured 11.5 to 
12.7 mm in length. In a few the metamorphosis was almost complete 
the left eye having reached the edge of the head but in the majority the 
left eye though it had commenced its "migration" was still on the lower 
side. The little fish had already developed the habit of lying on the 


bottom on the left side. Nearly all the pigment, i.e. the chromato- 
phores had disappeared from the lower side, where only a few scattered 
black and yellow cells remained : on the upper side the pigmentation 
was considerable, but not so fully developed as in the adult. 

On May 8th I took about 15 or 16 of these small flounders and 
placed them in a glass vessel without sand. This vessel I placed on a 
plate of glass supported at the ends by two supports. Beneath the glass 
plate I arranged a mirror about 15 inches by 12, sloping it at an angle 
of 45°. The top and sides of the vessel containing the fish were covered 
with opaque material, and through the cover were passed a jet deliver- 
ing water and an outflow pipe connected with an overflowing bottle a 
little distance off, so that a constant circulation of sea water was main- 
tained in the vessel while the level of the water in it remained constant. 
The whole apparatus was placed in front of a south window from which 
the light fell on the mirror and was reflected vertically upwards on to 
the bottom of the vessel containing the fish : as the fish were usually 
resting on this bottom their lower sides were illuminated while their 
upper sides were kept in the dark. 

At the same time I kept a large number of the same young flounders 
living under ordinary conditions in table-tanks at the bottom of which 
was a layer of fine sand. 

I fed these young flounders first with minute Crustacea sifted out 
from weeds gathered on the shore, and afterwards with minced worm, 
and they all throve well and grew rapidly. 

On June 21st I took out one of the specimens from the mirror- 
apparatus and examined it. It was 2.7 cm in length. Another specimen 
taken from an ordinary tank for comparison was 2.6 cm long. The 
difference between the lower sides of these two was as follows : In the 
mirror-specimen there was an opaque white layer all over the wall of 
the abdominal cavity, the rest of the skin being translucent. In the 
normal specimen this coating was confined to the edges of the same 
area. There were a few scattered black chromatophores on the lower 
side of the head in each specimen, but rather more in the mirror specimen 
than in the other. 

It is evident that these differences are not very important, and I 
think it is reasonable to conclude that at this time, one month and a 
half after the commencement of the experiment, the lower sides of the 
mirror-specimens had become, by inherited tendency, as destitute of 
pigment as those of the specimens under the ordinary conditions. 

But two months afterwards namely on August 27th all the flounders 
in the mirror apparatus die 1. The cause of death was this. After my 
return from Norway on August 13th I noticed that the fish in the 
apparatus very frequently clung to the sides of the vessel instead of 
lying on the bottom, and as the sides were darkened, while they were 
in this position their upper sides only were exposed to the light from 
the mirror. In order to prevent this I introduced a horizontal partition 
of network so as to keep the fish on the bottom of the vessel ; but the 
netting soon got obstructed with remains of the food, and the. water 
below the partition was thus cut off from the circulation so that the 
fish were asphyxiated. 


The following are the notes I made from my examination of the 
tish immediately alter their death : — 

1. 3.2 cm in length : black and yellow chromatophores on the 
lower surface of the longitudinal fins and in a broad band on each side 
of the lower surface of the body ; also on the edges of the lower side of 
the head. 

2. 3.7 cm in length. Normal pigment all over the same band at 
the edges of the body on the lower side : also in the angle behind the 
operculum and on the lower pectoral. 

3. 3.2 cm in length. Pigmentation on the lower sides as in 1 and 
2 but not quite so much of it. 

4. 6.3 cm in length. A small patch of chromatophores both black 
and yellow in the area covered by the lower pectoral, and extending 
beyond that area. 

5. 4.2 cm in length. Little pigment on the low. r side ; a little on 
the pectoral, on the edges of the head, and near the ventral edge behind 
the operculum. 

6. 5.7 cm in length. Pigment on the rays of the lower pectoral, 
a,nd on the dorsal edge of the hea d. 

7. 5.3 cm in length. Pigment on lower side of head near edges ; 
on lower branchiostegal membrane a good deal. 

8. 4.3 cm in length. Scattered black chromatophores behind body 

9. 5.8 cm in length. A few black chromatophores near dorsal 
edge of lower side of the head. 

10. 5.5 cm in length. A few scattered black chromatophores over 
the lower side, especially behind the body cavity on the ventral half. 

11. 5.3 cm in length. No pigment on lower side except on lower 
surface of the tail. 

12. 5.8 cm in length. No pigment on lower side. 

13. 3.3 cm in length. No pigment on the under side. 

At the same time I examined 4 of the specimens which had been 
kept during the same time on a sandy bottom in the aquarium and 
found no pigment on the lower sides of either. I have also frequently 
had occasion to examine other of these specimens of the young flounders 
of the same age kept in the tanks since last May, and have never seen 
aDy pigment on the lower sides of any. 

To show the significance of this experiment it must be mentioned 
that the colours of flat-fishes always " depend on three and only three 
kinds of cellular elements, namely the black chromatophores, yellow or 
orange-yellow chromatophores, both of which are capable of expansion 
and contraction, and thirdly the iridocytes which are strongly reflecting 
and white or slightly iridescent, and which are 6xed in shape and size. 
The iridocytes are alone present on the lower sides of normal flat-fishes, 
and give them their opaque white appearance. 

Of the above 13 specimens whose lower sides had been exposed to 
light for less than 4 months only three had failed to devolope black and 


yellow chromatophores in the skin of those sides. Three showed very 
well developed bands of pigment quite similar to that of the upper side 
over the area occupied by the muscles of the longitudinal fins. The 
other 7 specimens possessed a less quantity of pigment on the lower it 
is true, but chromatophores were present in one part or another where 
they are not present in the specimens living in the ordinary way on sand. 

The question of course arises, how are these pigment cells developed, 
by migration from the upper side 1 from wandering lymphatic cells 1 or 
from unpigmented cells already present in the same position before? 
These questions I cannot at present answer, but am now endeavouring 
to find replies to them. I think the third suggestion the most probable. 
The chromatopliorss in flat-fishes are situated in the derma between the 
surface of the scales and the epidermis. 

Of course I am well aware that specimens of flounders and other 
flat-fishes are occasionally taken from the sea in which both sides are 
coloured, or in which there are coloured spots on the lower side. But I 
scarcely think any one will maintain that the condition of the specimens 
in my experiment can be supposed to be a case of accidental variation. 
On the other hand it is always possible that abnormal pigmentation on 
the lower sides of free-living specimens is due to peculiarities of 
environment or habit. 

I have other experiments in progress which I hope will further 
elucidate the relation of the pigmentation of the flat-fishes to the action 
of light. For the present I will conclude with a brief summary of what 
previous writers have said as to the causes of the absence of chromato- 
phores from the lower side. Prof. Alexander Agassiz in his paper on 
the "Development of the Flounders" * published in 1878, says that the 
attempt which he made of placing the glass dish containing young flat- 
fishes at a height over a table, and thus allowing the light to come from 
below as well as from all other sides, failed in arresting the transfer of 
the eye, and also produced no effect in retaining the pigment spots of 
the blind side longer than in specimens struck by the light only 
normally from above. Prof. Agassiz in the first place did not use a 
mirror, and in the second place he evidently expected that the effect if 
any would be to arrest the metamorphosis. The idea on which I found 
my experiments is that the inherited tendency will cause the metamor- 
phosis to take place even when the conditions are reversed, but that when 
the reversed conditions are kept up long enough a new metamorphosis 
will be induced in the opposite direction to the first. 

Prof. Agassiz refers in the same paper to Pouchet's researches on 
chromatophorest saying that they point most plainly to the partial 
atrophy of the great sympathetic nerve, effected during the passage of 
the eye from the right to the left or vice versa, as the cause of the 
absence of chromatophores from the lower sides of flat-fishes. I have 
read Pouchet's paper referred to below, and can find no mention what- 
ever of any suggested cause of the absence of colour on the lower sides 
of flat-fishes. Pouchet found that section of the great sympathetic put 
an end to the changes of colour under the influence of light, but he 

* Proceedings Amer. Acad. Arts and Sc. Vol. XIV. 

+ G. Pouchet, Des Changements de Coloration sous l'lnfluence des Nerfs. Arch, 
de Physiol, et d'Anat. 1876. 


distinctly says that it made no difference whether the left or the right 
eye was extirpated in the turbot. In either case the changes of colour 
went on as before when the fish was changed from one bottom to 
another, but when both eyes were extirpated the changes ceased. 

Finally I must refer to the remarks of Prof. Semper in his "Animal 
Life" * who says that the absence of colour in animals is certainlv not 
to be ascribed to the absence of light, since we know that animal pigment 
like vegetable pigment can be developed m total darkness, and in fact is 
so developed normally in many animals. 


An Address delivered by ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL, on March 6th, 1891 
("Science, 1 " Vol. NVIL, p. 160). 

It always gives me pleasure to respond to the invitation of the 
members of the Literary Society of Kendall Green, and it will always 
be my object in addressing you to choose subjects that will be of 
interest and importance to you in your future lives. You have come 
together here from every part of the United States to receive in the 
National College for Deaf-Mutes that higher education which you 
cannot obtain in the States from which you came. 

Tn a very little while — it may be in one year, or two years, or 
more — you will separate from one another, and each go back singly to 
the places from which you came, to begin the battle of life. You will 
go out into the great world, — the world of hearing and speaking 
people, a world of people who cannot spell upon their fingers or make 
signs. Are you prepared for that change, and what is to be your 
position in that world ? 

I would have you all remember that you yourselves are a part of 
that great world of hearing and speaking people. You are not a 
race distinct and apart, and you must fulfil the duties of life, and 
make your way to honourable positions among hearing and speaking- 

Now, I have considered what subject I could bring to your 
attention to-night the consideration of which would be of assistance 
to you when you go out into the world ; and there is no subject, I am 
sure, that lies closer to your hearts than the subject of marriage. 

It is a very difficult thing for me to speak to you upon that 
subject, because I know that an idea has gone forth, and is very 
generally believed in by the deaf of this country, that I want to 
prevent you from marrying as you choose, and that I have tried to 
pass a law to interfere with your marriages. But, my friends, it is 
not true. I have never done such a thing, nor do I intend to ; and 
before I speak upon this subject I want you distinctly to understand 
that I have no intention of interfering with your liberty of marriage. 

* Natural conditions of Existence as they affect Animal Life. £ni ec it., p. 90. 



You can marry whom you choose, and I hope you will be happy. It 
is not for me to blame you for marrying to suit yourselves ; for you 
all know that I myself, the son of a deaf mother, have married a deaf 

I think, however, that it is the duty of every good man and 
every good woman to remember that children follow marriage, and I 
am sure that there is no one among the deaf who desires to have his 
affliction handed down to his children. You all know that I have 
devoted considerable study and thought to the subject of the inheri- 
tance of deafness, and if you will put away prejudice out of your 
minds, and take up my researches relating to the deaf, you will find 
something that may be of value to you all. 

We all know that some of the deaf have deaf children, — not ah 1 , 
not even the majority, but some, — a comparatively small number. In 
the vast majority of cases there are no deaf offspring, but in the 
remaining cases the proportion of offspring born deaf is very large, — 
so large as to cause alarm to thoughtful minds. Will it not be of 
interest and importance to you to find out why these few have deaf 
offspring. It may not be of much importance to you to inquire 
whether by and by, in a hundred years or so, we may have a deaf 
variety of the human race. That is a matter of great interest to 
scientific men, but not of special value to you. What you want to 
know, and what you are interested in, is this : are you yourself liable 
to have deaf offspring ? Now, one value that you will find in my 
researches is this : that you can gain information that may assure 
you that you may increase your liability to have deaf offspring or 
diminish it, according to the way in which you marry. 

The Rev. W. W. Turner of Hartford was the first, I think, who 
showed that those who are born deaf have a greater liability to have 
deaf offspring than those who are not. He showed, that where a 
person born deaf marries another person born deaf, in this case about 
one-third of the children are deaf. Mr. Job Williams, the present 
principal of the Hartford Institution, has still more recently examined 
the subject ; and, in a letter published in Science a short time ago, he 
arrives at the same conclusion, — about one-third are born deaf. In 
1888, Mr. Connor, the principal of the Georgia Institution, made an 
examination of the results of the marriages of his pupils, and his 
statistics are published in "Facts and Opinions relating to the Deaf." 
He also comes to the same conclusion,- — about one-third are born 

The following table will show you the exact figures : — ■ 

Table I. — Concerning the Offspring of Couples Both of Whom were 

bom Deaf. 


Number of 

Number of 

Number of 


of Chil- 
dren who 
are deaf. 

Number of 
Deaf Chil- 
dren to 
every 100 

Turner (1808) ... 
Connor (18H8) ... 
Williams (1891) 








70'S - 



It is obvious that persons born deaf run considerable risk of 
having deaf offspring if they marry persons who are also born deaf. 

If we take all the marriages of congenitally deaf persons, without 
reference to whether they married deaf or hearing persons, we have 
five independent sets of statistics from which we may derive infor- 
mation regarding the effects upon the offspring. ( 1 ) My own 
researches indicate that where one or both of the parties were born 
deaf there will be fifteen deaf children in every hundred families ; 
Dr. Gillett's statistics give eighteen deaf children to every hundred 
families ; (3) Dr. Turner's, thirty-two ; (4) Mr. Williams's, forty- 
seven ; and (5) Mr. Connor's, ninety- five. 

Table II. — Concerning the Offspring of Couples One or Both of Whom 

were born Deaf. 




Number of 


Number of 
Deaf Chil- 
dren to 
every 100 

Turner (1868) ... 
Bell (1883) 
Connor (1888) ... 
Gillett (1891) ... 
Williams (1891) 









Persons who are reported deaf from birth, as a class, exhibit 
a tendency to transmit the defect ; and yet when we come to 
individual cases we cannot decide with absolute certainty that any 
one was born deaf. Some who are reported deaf from birth probably 
lost hearing in infancy; others reported deaf in infancy were probably 
born deaf. For educational purposes the distinction may be im- 
material, but in the study of inheritance it makes all the difference 
in the world whether the deafness occurred before or after birth. 
Now, in my researches I flunk I have found a surer and more safe 
guide to those cases that are liable to transmit the defect. 

The new guide that I would give you is this : look at the family 
rather than at the individual. You will find in certain families that 
one child is deaf and all the rest hearing, the ancestors and other 
relatives also being free from deafness. This is what is known as a 
" sporadic " case of deafness, — deafness which afflicts one only in a 

Well, the deafness in such cases may be accidental. There is no 
proof that such deafness is liable to be inherited, excepting where the 
person is reported deaf from birth. In the vast majority of cases 
reported deaf from birth there is an undoubted tendency to inheri- 
tance; but where the deafness is caused by meningitis, scarlet-fever, 
or like causes, and no other case of deafness exists in the family, 
there is probably little, if any, tendency to inheritance. But when 
you have two members of your family deaf, or three, or four, or five, 
there you have the proof that a tendency to dtalness exists in the 
family. What I term " family deafness " exists there. Something 
has been transmitted from the parents to the children that has 



caused deafness, or helped to cause it. I remember a case in which 
there were four children in one family deaf, and none of them were 
born deaf. One child became deaf, perhaps, from measles, another 
from scarlet-fever, etc, I do not now remember exactly what causes 
were stated. They became deaf, however, at different times, and from 
apparently accidental causes. But can we consider that it was 
accidental that there should have been four children in one family 
deaf ? The fact that a number of children in the same family are 
deaf points to an inherited tendency to deafness in the family. One 
result of my researches is to show the great importance of studying 
the results of marriages of persons who come from families of that 
kind. My results, however, until verified by other observers, should 
be received as probable only, and not certainly proved. 

So far as I can find out, the hereditary character of the defect in 
a family is roughly indicated by the proportion of the family who are 
deaf. If you make a fraction, and place the number of deaf children 
above as the numerator, and the total number of children below as 
the denominator, for example, ' , that fraction will give you some idea 
of the tendency to deafness in that family : one child in six is deaf. 
Again, take a case in which three out of six are deaf (j|). Now, the 
tendency to transmit the deafness in this family (-;}) will be greater 
than in that (,\). Every member of the first family (■§), whether deaf 
or hearing, will have a greater tendency to have deaf children than the 
members of the other ( ( \). In general, the tendency to transmit 
deafness is greatest in those families that have the largest proportion 
of deaf members, and smallest in those that have the least. This 
conclusion is exceedingly probable, and should therefore be taken as 
a guide by those who desire to avoid the production of deaf offspring. 
If you marry a hearing person who has three or four deaf brothers 
and sisters, the probability of your having deaf children will be 
greater than if you marry a deaf person (not born deaf) who has no 
deaf relatives. 

The statistics collated by me (" Memoir," p. 25) indicate that 816 
marriages of deaf-mutes produce 82 deaf children : in other words, 
every 100 marriages are productive of 10 deaf children. This is a 
result independent of the cause of deafness, — an average of all cases 
considered. Eliminating 40 cases where the cause of deafness is not 
given, I divide the 776 cases into 4 classes : — 

Table III. 

Class 1. Not bom deaf, no deaf relatives 

Class 2. Not born deaf, deaf relatives 

Class 3. Bom deaf, no deaf relatives 

Class 4. Born deaf, deaf relatives 

CD 13 





a a ffi 2 

fc 6 





g fa a S S g 





The percentage results are shown by themselves in the following 
table (Table IV.), in which the figures indicate the number of deaf 



children produced by eveiy 100 marriages of persons belonging to 
Classes 1, 2, 3, and 4. 

Table IV. 

Period of Life when Deafness 

Character of the Deafness. 


Sporadic Deafness. 

Family Deafness. 

After birth 



My statistics are confessedly very imperfect, and many persons 
have hastily concluded that the results are therefore of no value or 
significance. This, however, is not the case ; for the imperfection of 
the statistics assures us that the figures given are all underestimates, 
the true number of deaf children in every case being greater than 
that mentioned. As a matter of fact, all the statistics since collected 
by others have shown larger percentages. 

While it is believed that the true percentages are larger than 
those given, it is probable that they are proportionately larger ; so 
that we may conclude with probable accuracy that persons belonging 
to Class-4 are more liable to have deaf children than those belonging 
to Class 3, those of Class 3 more liable than those belonging to Class 
2, and those belonging to Class 1 are the least liable of any, to have 
deaf offspring. The relative liabilities are probably represented by 
the percentage figures. 

The results are imperfect from another cause. The institution 
reports from which the statistics were compiled did not give details 
concerning both the parties to a marriage. 

It would be stated that Mr. So-and-so " married a deaf-mute ; " 
but no information would be given as to whether his wife was born 
deaf or not, or whether she had or had not deaf relatives. I have 
only been able, therefore, to classify the marriages by one side. For 
example: the results noted for Class 1 give the summation of all 
marriages of persons not born deaf who have no deaf relatives, quite 
regardless of the fact that some of them may have married congenital 
deaf-mutes, others semi mutes, and still others hearing persons. We 
may deduce, however, from the figures, that, if the husband belongs 
to Class 1, his liability to have deaf offspring will be greatest if his 
wife belong to Class 4, and least if she belongs to Class 1, etc. 

Now that Professor Fay has taken up the subject, I hope that 
we may obtain statistics of greater accuracy and importance than any 
yet compiled. 

When Ave obtain statistics classified by both parties to the 
marriage, I think it will be found, that, where persons belonging to 
Class 1 marry persons also belonging to Class 1, there will be no deaf 
offspring, or, at least, that the percentage of deaf offspring will be 
insignificant ; for surely accidental deafness is no more liable to be 
inherited than the accidental loss of an arm in battle, for instance. 
If, however, a person born without an arm should marry a person 
also born without an arm, some of the children would probably 
exhibit the same defect. In a similar manner, persons belonging to 


Classes 2, 3, and 4 exhibit a decided tendency to transmit deafness to 
their offspring. 

Now, there is a law of heredity that may afford great comfort to 
many of the deaf, — the law of reversion. There is a very strong- 
tendency in offspring to revert to the normal type of the race. It 
requires constant selection from generation to generation on both 
sides to perpetuate any abnormal peculiarity. There will always, 
therefore, be a tendency to produce hearing children rather than 
deaf, excepting in cases where both parties to a marriage come from 
families belonging to Classes 2, 3, and 4. 

Probabilities for Your Guidance. 

Whatever may be the character of the deafness in your own case, 
you will probably diminish your liability to have deaf offspring (1) by 
marrying a hearing person in whose family there is no deafness ; (2) 
marrying a deaf person (not born deaf) who has no deaf relatives 
(Class 1), or a hearing brother or sister of such a person. 

On the other hand, you will probably increase your liability to 
have deaf offspring (1) by marrying a deaf person (not born deaf) who 
has deaf relatives (Class 2), or a hearing brother or sister of such a 
person ; (2) by marrying a deaf person (born deaf) who has no deaf 
relatives (Class 3), or a hearing brother or sister of such a person ; (3) 
by marrying a deaf person (born deaf) who has deaf relatives (Class 
4), or a hearing brother or sister of such a person. 

Of course, if you yourself were born deaf, or have deaf relatives, 
it is perfectly possible that in any event some of your children may 
be deaf. Still, I am inclined to think, that, if you marry a member of 
a family in which there is no deafness (or only a single case of non- 
congenital deafness), you will not only have fewer deaf children than 
if you married into a family containing a congenital deaf-mute, or a 
number of deaf persons, but the deafness of your children will not 
tend so strongly to be handed down to the grandchildren. The ten- 
dency to inheritance will be weakened in the one case, and intensified 
in the other : that is, in the former case your deaf child will have a 
less tendency to transmit his defect to his children than you yourself 
possess ; in the latter case a greater tendency. 

Take the case of a family in which three or four children are 
born deaf. 

Now, suppose that all the members of this family and their deaf 
descendants are careful to marry only into families which are free 
from deafness, or which contain only single cases of non-congenital 
deafness. Then the probabilities are that at each generation the 
percentage of children born deaf will be less, and the proportion of 
hearing children greater, until finally the deaf tendency disappears, 
and all the descendants will hear. 

On the other hand, suppose that the members of this family and 
their deaf descendants marry into families containing a congenital 
deaf-mute, or containing several deaf persons. Then the probabilities 
are that at each generation the percentage of children born deaf will 
increase, and the proportion of hearing children will be less, until 
finally the tendency to produce hearing offspring disappears, and all 


the descendants will be deaf. This family would then constitute a 
deaf variety of the race, in which deaf offspring would be the rule, 
and hearing offspring the exception. 

Now, the point that I would impress upon you all is the signifi- 
cance of family deafness. I would have you remember that all the 
members of a family in which there are a number of deaf-mutes have 
a liability to produce deaf offspring, the hearing members of the 
family as well as the deaf members. 

This, I think, is the explanation of the curious fact that the con- 
genitally deaf pupils of the Hartford Institution who married hearing 
persons had a larger percentage of deaf children than those who 
married deaf-mutes. It is probable that many of the hearing persons 
they married had brothers or sisters who were born deaf. 

Cases will constantly arise in which a proposed marriage will 
appear undesirable and desirable both at the same time. For 
example : a semi-mute having no deaf relatives may form an attach- 
ment for a congenitally deaf person in whose family deafness may be 
hereditary. Of course, I have nothing to say as to what the young 
people should do : that is a matter for them to decide. I cannot even 
undertake to advise. The semi-mute will have no tendency to have 
deaf children if he or she will marry a person of similar kind (Class 
1), or marry a bearing person belonging to a family in which there is 
no deafness : hence this person, by marrying a congenitally deaf 
person in whose family deafness is hereditary, will create a liability to 
have deaf offspring which would not otherwise exist. From this 
point of view, the marriage is undesirable. 

On the other hand, from the point Jof view of the person born 
deaf, such a marriage is extremely desirable, for it will diminish the 
hereditary tendency in his family. In such a case, the friends of one 
party would probably favour the union, and the friends of the other 
advise against it; and the mutual friends of both could only say, " It 
is desirable to one, and undesirable to the other : we cannot advise ; 
your own hearts must decide the matter." 

Now, I have come before you to-night to show you that there may 
be something in my researches of benefit to you ; I want also to assure 
you that there is nothing of harm. I want to disabuse your minds 
entirely of the idea that I intend or desire to interfere with your 
perfect liberty of choice. I claim the right to advise you as I would 
advise my own children, or any young people in whom I feel an 
interest. In this matter my views coincide very closely with those 
recently expressed by President Oallaudet through the columns of 
Science. You have to live iu a world of hearing and speaking people, 
and every thing that will help you to mingle with hearing and speak- 
ing people will promote your welfare and happiness. A hearing- 
partner will wed you to the hearing world, and be of inestimable 
value to you in all the relations of life. Not only will your own success 
in life be thereby increased, but the welfare of your children will be 
materially promoted. It is surely to the interests of children, both 
deaf and hearing, tlat at least one of their parents should hoar. 


I would therefore hold before you as the ideal marriage a mar- 
riage with a bearing person. Do not let any one place in your minds 
the idea that such a marriage cannot be a happy one. Do not let any 
one make you believe that you cannot find a hearing person who will 
treat you as an equal. The chances are infinitely more in your favour 
that out of the millions of hearing persons in this country you may be 
able to find one with whom you may be happy than that you should 
find one among the smaller numbers of the deaf. 

I think the sentiment is hurtful that makes you believe you can 
only be happy with a deaf companion. That is a mistake, and, I 
believe, a grave one. I would have you believe that the welfare of 
yourself and your children will be greatly promoteel by marriage with 
a hearing partner, if you can find one with whom you can be happy. 

And now, my friends, I must thank you very much for the atten- 
tive way in which you have listeneel to me, and I hope you will all 
dispel from your minds any idea that I intenel to interfere with your 
liberty of marriage. I know that very grave misconceptions of my 
j)csition anel views have been circulated during the past few years 
among the deaf, and I want you to help me in dispelling these ideas. 

These misconceptions have arisen chiefly, I think, from too great 
reliance upon newspaper stories anel second-hand information. The 
newspapers seem to know a good deal more about my opinions and 
views than 1 do myself, and I am constantly seeing items about myself 
that have utterly no basis in fact. Only a few weeks ago I read in a 
newspaper a long report of an interview with me that never took 
place. The substance of that article has since been copied from paper 
to paper all over the United States. I happeneel to be suffering from 
a slight headache when the reporter called at my hotel, and I thought 
this would afford a good excuse for avoiding an interview. I therefore 
sent my compliments to the reporter, and begged to be excused. He 
went away, and I thought that that Avas the end of the matter. Alas, 
no ! Next morning I found myself in the paper, in large capitals, 
giving forth opinions relating to the education of the deaf that I had 
never expressed. 

Now, I would impress upon your minds the fact that if you want 
to do a man justice, you shoulel believe what a man says himself 
rather than what people say he says. There is no man in America, I 
think, who has been more interviewed by newspaper reporters than I 
have, and I can assure you that T have never yet seen a report of an 
interview with me that was free from error. 

But now I begin to be afraid of you ; for you are the interviewers 
in this case, and I wonder how I shall be reported by you in the 
newspapers of the eleaf. I am talking to you by word of mouth, while 
my friend, Professor Fay, is translating what I say into the sign- 
language. Then by and by you will translate it all back again into 
English for the benefit of your deaf friends in distant parts. You 
are the interviewers this time, anel I fear you are just as liable to 
make errors of statement as the ordinary newspaper reporter. I 
have therefore brought with me to-night a gentleman who has taken 
a stenographic account of all that I am saying to you. T will look 


over Lis notes and correct them, and then it will afford me pleasure 
to present every member of the Literary Society with a printed copy 
of my remarks. Allow me, therefore, to request the correspondents 
of distant papers kindly to reserve their notes of my remarks until 
they can get my own words in black and white. 

I must thank you very much for the attention with which you 
have listened to me, and in conclusion I would simply say, that, if any 
one here desires to ask me questions upon the subject of my address, 
I shall be happy to do my best to repl}'. 


In his presidential address to the Linnean Society of New South 
Wales, the chairman, Dr. J. C. Cox, made the following reference to 
the late President of the Society: — "William John Stephens was born 
on July 16, 1829, at Levens, in Westmoreland, where his father was 
the vicar. He was educated first at the Haversliam Grammar School, 
an ancient foundation which has turned out many distinguished 
scholars, and subsequently at Marlborough College, where he was one 
of the 200 pupils with which that institution opened. In due course 
he became captain of Marlborough, and gained the Latin Terse and 
English Terse prizes, the Plater prize, the Drawing prize, and the 
College exhibition. Before leaving Marlborough he won a Tabarden- 
ship at Queen's College, Oxford, and matriculated in that University. 
He took his B.A. in 1852, with first-class honours in classics, and 
third-class honours in mathematics and physics. Soon after he was 
elected fellow and appointed tutor of Queen's. Among his pupils 
during this period were Dr. Percival, formerly of Clifton, now head- 
master of Rugby ; and Dr. Thornton, Bishop of Ballarat. While at 
Oxford he read widely and deeply in the ancient classics, the love of 
which never afterwards deserted him. Here also he laid the founda- 
tion of that varied learning which eminently distinguished him. At 
Oxford, too, in his early manhood, he first took up the study of 
geology, and threw himself into that science with great zeal. To 
geology he soon added botany, in both of which he took keen interest. 

"In 1856, at the instigation of Sir Charles Nicholson, he applied 
for the headmastership of the Sydney Grammar School, which had 
just been founded ; and he was elected to that position on the recom- 
mendation of Dr. Jowett. After ten years' work at the Grammar 
School he resigned his headmastership, and established a school of 
his own in Darlinghurst-road, which was known as the New School, 
and afterwards as Eaglesfield. This school he continued to conduct 
till his appointment, in 1882, to the Professorship of Natural History 
at the Sydney University— the title of which was afterwards changed, 
upon a redistribution of work on the foundation of certain additional 
chairs, to that of Geology and Palaeontology. 

"His death took place on Saturday, November 22, after short 
but severe illness, a fatal termination being unexpected until the day 
before his death. On November 24th his remains were followed to 
the grave by a large concourse of friends, colleagues, and official 


representatives of the various institutions and societies with which he 
had been connected, old pupils, and University students. 

" For a period of nearly thirty-five years then Professor Stephens 
lived in our midst, labouring uninterruptedly in the cause of higher 
education, yet finding time and inclination to give the colony at large 
the benefit of his extensive knowledge and experience by his connec- 
tion with several of our important public institutions such as the 
Public Library of which he was Chairman of Trustees, and the 
Australian Museum of which he was a member of the Board. For a 
time also he was President of the Sydney Branch of the Geographical 
Society of Australia. In his favourite pursuit of Natural Science he 
was actively identified firstly with our fore-runner, the Entomological 
Society of New South Wales, and afterwards with this Society dating 
from its inception, having been a member of Council during the years 
1875 and 1876, ^President in 1877 and 1878, Vice-President in 1879 
and 1880, Co-Honorary Secretary in 1881-84, and again President 
from 1885 to the close of his life in November 1890." 

List of Fishes of N.Z. — Under date, Christchurch, 15th April, 
1891, Professor Hutton writes : — "In my List of the Fishes of New 
Zealand published in the ' Transactions N.Z. Institute,' vol. xxii, p. 
275, I have omitted the following species. 

" 139a. Labrichthys roseipunctata, Hutton, 'Trans. N.Z. Inst.' vol. 
xii, p. 455." 

Crustacea raised from dried New Zealand mud. — At the 
request of Professor G-. O Sars, of Christiania, Norway, I sent that 
gentleman during last summer, some samples of dried mud taken 
from fresh-water ponds or lagoons. One lot was collected by Mr. 
Chilton at Eyretown, Canterbury, from a locality which yields 
abundance of Boechia triarticulata, as well as other forms of minute 
Crustacea. Two other lots were taken from dried-up lagoons in the 
Taieri Plain. The materials were sent by post in April last,. and on 
receipt were at once placed in suitable aquaria. From letters 
received since it is interesting to learn that the results of the 
experiment have proved very satisfactory. In nearly all the aquaria 
prepared with mud from Eyretown Daphriia similis, (mihi), has been 
successfully hatched, and has increased in a very remarkable manner. 
Along with this numerous specimens of a Cypris aj>peared. This 
species Prof. Sars takes to be my Cypris ciliata, and he Avas at 
first inclined to consider it as Ilerpetocypris stanleyana, (King), 
which he has raised from dried Australian (Queensland) mud. 
But another form raised from the Taieri mud agrees much more 
closely with King's species, as subsequently described by Mr. 
Brady. The Eyretown mud also yielded specimens of a very distinct 
and beautiful species of Diaptomus, which is probably identical with 
my Boeckia triarticulata. Prof. Sars goes on to say : — "The parcel of 
mud from the neighbourhood of Dunedin has, besides the above- 
mentioned Cypris, yielded numerous specimens of a Simocephalus, 
which I supose to be your Daphnia obtusata, a species of Ceriodaphnia, 
a, small Chydorus (probably your C. minutus), and four additional 
species of Ostracoda, viz., two species of Herpeiocypris (one of which 
has also been raised from Australian mud and described as H viridula, 
Brady), one species of Cypridopsis, and one of Notodromas (of which 


latter I have, however, as yet only found a single specimen). My 
experiments will be continued next summer, and I do not doubt that 
some of the species, at least of the Ostracoda, will reappear in the 
aquaria, after they have been dried up during the winter." These 
results are very interesting, and it would greatly increase the value of 
Prof. Sar's researches in this direction, if samples of mud from the 
North Island were foi'Avarded to him. I shall be glad to receive and 
forward any which are forthcoming. The specimens obtained by 
myself were nearly cubical blocks about four inches deep. — Geo. M. 
Thomson, Dunedin, 25th April, 1891. 

Idotea lacustris (G. M. Thomson). — This species was originally 
described by Mr. Thomson in 1879. It is chiefly remarkable because 
of its occurrence in fresh water as the genus to which it belongs is 
distinctly marine, and it is the only fresh water Isopod at present 
known in New Zealand, with the exception of some subterranean 
forms. It has been taken at different times in the Tomahawk 
Lagoon, near Dunedin, but it has been a little uncertain whether it 
lived there permanently in -fresh Avater or only came up when a very 
high tide rendered communication with the lagoon possible.* It has 
never been taken in the sea on the New Zealand coasts, but in the 
British Museum collections there are specimens from Port Henry, 
Straits of Magellan (Dr. R. P. Coppinger), which are very nearly if 
not quite identical with the New Zealand species. The exact locality 
of the Magellan species does not appear to be known, but probably 
they were marine in habitat. So much was known about the species 
when Miers wrote his "Revision of the Idoteidte," and though I after- 
wards described the species in greater detail in my " Revision of the 
N.Z. Idoteid»" (Trans. N.Z. Inst. XXL, p. 191), 1 was not then able 
to give any further information as to its distribution. In January of 
this year, however, Messrs. Wm. Cron and D. Strachan, two enthu- 
siastic young collectors who have often helped me, brought me some 
specimens of what appeared to be Idotea lacustris from the Mihiwaka 
Creek, near the mouth of the Deborah Bay Tunnel, above Port 
Chalmers, a place perhaps about 200 feet above, sea level. I 
have since collected numerous specimens from the creek; they 
are found on the under surface of stones and boulders in the 
small mountain stream, and undoubtedly are permanent fresh 
water inhabitants. On examination these specimens were found 
to differ constantly from the Tomahawk Lagoon specimens in 
several small points ; thus the eyes are much smaller, the inner 
antennae are longer and the outer antennre more slender, there 
is a small depression in the front margin of the head which 
alters the appearance of the margin, the last segment of the abdomen 
bears only one pair of sutures instead of two, &c. These differences 
though small in amount are somewhat numerous, and an examination 
of a considerable number of specimens from both localities proves 
that they are constant. They are quite as important as differences 
that are often held to distinguish species, but in this case it will 
probably be better and less misleading if the two forms are consi- 
dered as distinct varieties of the same species. It would be 

* I have found it lately in all parts of the lagoon, quite away from tidal influence 
and where the water is always quite fresh. — G-. M. T. 


interesting to know if Idotea lacustris were once widely distributed in 
New Zealand as a fresh water species or not ; at any rate its discovery 
in a small mountain stream taken in conjunction with the discovery 
by Mr. Thomson of Pherusa ccervdea in a small stream at the top of 
the Old Man Range at 3000 feet elevation (see " N.Z. Journal of 
Science, II., p. 576), shows that we have still much to learn about the 
smaller inhabitants of these streams, and that further search in such 
localities may lead to interesting results. — Chas. Chilton. 




Sydney, 28th January, 1891. — Dr. J. C. Cox, Vice-President, in 
the chair. 

The chairman delivered the annual address, from which we extract 
the following : — 

"Among the events of the year at home there are several worthy 
of notice on this occasion. 

" First, I may mention the publication of the researches of Mr. A. 
S. Woodward, F.Z.S., F.G.S., of the British Museum, on 'The Fossil 
Fishes of the Hawkesbury Series at Gosford,'* a contribution to our 
knowledge of the Hawkesbury formation of the greatest interest and 
importance. References to the collections will be found in two papers 
by Professor Stephens in Vols. I (2nd Ser.). p. 1175, and II, p. 156 of 
our Proceedings. In an introductory note to Mr. Woodward's mono- 
graph, Mr. T. W. Edge worth David, B.A., deals with the stratigraphical 
position of the Gosford fish-bed, in reference to which he says that it is 
at present 'doubtful whether the bed belongs to the lower portion of 
the Hawkesbury Sandstone or to the upper portion of the Narrabeen 
Shales.' The series of nearly 400 specimens was richer in individuals 
than in representatives of many species, Mr. Woodward distributing them 
among the various orders represented as follows : — One Selachian of the 
family Cestraciontidce, one species of a new genus (Gosfordia) of Dipnoi, 
the remainder being referable to nine genera (two proposed as new) and 
seventeen species (all but two being new) of Ganoidei. In concluding 
his paper Mr. Woodward says, 'perhaps the most important fact, how- 
ever, is the absence in the Hawkesbury beds of fishes with well- 
developed vertebral centra. ... So far as can be determined from 
the fishes, therefore, the Hawkesbury beds may be regarded as homo- 
taxial with the Keuper of Europe, or, at latest, with the Rhaetic' 

"The monograph is well illustrated; and we must congratulate not 
only Mr. Woodward on the successful issue of this excellent piece of 
work, but the Department of Mines on its publication of the volume 
within the colony. . . . Certainly the year 1890 has been prolific 
of swarms of animal life, not always beneficial, as well as of the 

* Issued as " Memoirs of the Geological Survey of N.S.W., Palaeontology, No. 4." 
Sydney, Government Printer, 1890. 


attacks of fungoid pests. To some of these your attention has been 
drawn from time to time at our meetings by the exhibition of 
specimens, and by the remarks which these provoked. Early in 
the year many vineyards in certain districts both in this colony 
and Victoria were infested by myriads of bugs which I am informed 
by Mr. Skuse, who has submitted specimens to Dr. Bergroth of 
Finland, are probably an undescribed species of Nysius (family 
Lygcddce), a genus not hitherto recorded from Australia. 

" Last summer and again this year pastoralists in the eastern 
colonies and South Australia have been troubled with plagues of locusts 
( sometimes referred to as Pachytylus australis, Brunn., but reported as 
Ghortologa australis by Mr. Koebele, as determined by Saussure), 
which this year especially have so accumulated in places as to impede 
railway traffic on some of our country lines by reason of the greasioess 
imparted to the rails. Mr. Koebele in his report quotes the opinion of 
a South Australian observer ' that only in such unusually dry seasons 
as the present (1888) would the locusts migrate, there being no food 
left for them in the interior of South Australia.' This hypothesis does 
not seem to be borne out by the experience of last year which was 
anything but a dry one, As yet we have had only preliminary reports 
on these matters. There is much room for investigation on the lines 
laid down in an article in ' Nature ' (Feb. 27th, 1890, p. 403) based on 
a Report by Mr. Cotes of the Indian Museum, Calcutta, from which we 
learn that India has been somewhat similary plagued with locusts of 
recent year-s. Locusts are not altogether a new pest with us, though 
records of their depredations in the past appear to be scanty, and their 
visitations not to have been of so desperately destructive a character; 
nevertheless a few references to their prevalence in this colony in 
former years will be found in Mr. Russell's ' Climate of New South 
Wales,' p. 27. It is also possible too that we are now in some measure 
reaping the results of the reckless and wanton destruction of many of 
our native birds which has been going on for so long. 

" In this connection also phylloxera as well as rabbits might also 
claim mention, though I need not go into details. 

" The past year has also furnished us with instances of migratory 
flights of butterflies of at least one species Bdenois (Purls) teutonia, 
Don., as reported at our last meeting. The specimens then exhibited 
were from Inverell, but in the 'Echo' of recent date, swarms, probably 
of the same species, were reported from Emmaville. In Vol. VII. of 
our Proceedings will be found a record of similar swarms of the same 
species observed at Tamworth by one of our members in December, 

" In this, as in other cases of animals which periodically attract 
notice by their appearance in migratory swarms, our country members 
will do well to be on the alert in observing and recording, as we have 
much yet to learn in these matters, and the records of the past are 
neither so complete nor so systematic as is to be desired. 

"Dr. A. Barclay, of the Bengal Medical Service, early in the year 
contributed an important paper to the Asiatic Society of Bengal, in 
which he deals with the subject of the prevalence and character of Rust 
and Mildew on wheat in India. The number of the journal containing 
this paper has not yet reached us, but the gist of it will be found in 


another paper by the same author in the 'Journal of Botany,' XXVIII., 
p. 257 (September, 1890), from which I take the following passage: — 
* So far as I have been able to gather, the most prevalent form of rusfc 
on wheat, barley, and oats in India is Puccinia rubigo-vera, D.C., and 
not P. graminis, Per?. And this is true of the outer Himalayan 
legion, where rust is very prevalent, and where three species of 
barberry are common (B. lycium, Boyle; B. aristata, D.C. ; B. vulgaris, 
L ), one of which, B. lycium, bears an ^cidium abundantly. At the 
same time, I have never been able to find an .^Ecidium on any species 
of Boraginese in the Himalayan region, and none is known on the 
plains. Whilst P. rubigo-vera is apparently by far the commonest 
rust in India, P. graminis is not wholly unknown. I have received 
specimens of P. graminis from Jeypore, about 200 miles in a direct 
line from the nearest known habitat of barberry ; but T have never seen 
a specimen on the crops actually in the neighbourhood of sscidium- 
bearing barberry. These facts are sufficient to show the mystery in 
which the subject here is involved, and that it needs much more study 
before anything useful can be written on it. The fungus on Linum 
('Ulsee') is apparently extremely common over large areas of the plains. 
It is often so closely concurrent with rust on wheat and barley, that the 
uredo stage on Linum has often been supposed to be the cause of the 
rust on wheat. This supposition, however, cannot be entertained, with 
our present knowledge, by botanists. The fungus on Linum is probably 
a complete autcecious species.' 

" I especially draw your attention to this matter because our 
fellow-member, Dr. Cobb, whose recent accession to our little band 
of working members we are glad to welcome, and who since his 
connection with the Department of Agriculture has had under investi- 
gation the question of rust on wheat in this colony, at an early stage 
of his observations also found that in the specimens submitted to him 
by far the commonest rust was Puccinia rubigo-vera, D.C., and not P. 
graminis. This result was some months ago announced in the daily 
papers, and full particulars are given in the ' Agricultural Gazette,' 
Vol. I., No. 3, p. 185. 

" To the newly established Forest Department our hopes turn not 
only for a check to the wholesale destruction of timber which has been 
going on for so long, to the conserving of such areas as are still 
available, and to the planting and replanting of suitable tracts of 
country, but for the realisation in this colony of a matter touched upon 
by Baron von Mueller, in his presidential address at the second meeting 
of the Australasian Association, namely the setting apart of areas in 
different and suitable parts of the colony in which the vegetation and 
its accompanying fauna may be left untouched, and preserved for 
educational purposes. Surely our utilitarian necessities are not of so 
pressing a character as to require every square foot of our richest and 
best timbered areas to be delivered up to the settler's axe and fire-stick. 
Comparatively few of even our native-born population know by 
experience, from artistic representations, or even by adequate descrip- 
tion, the beauty and luxuriance of our brushes and semi-tropical scrubs, 
now alas in danger of altogether disappearing. As means of communi- 
cation improve, as they are steadily doing, such districts as I speak of 
will be gradually brought within easy reach of the metropolis, and thus 


become more accessible to the naturalist, the artist, the writer, aud the 
lover of nature, let us hope not when it is altogether too late, and when 
the characteristic vegetation has entirely disappeared. 

" Of the good likely to accrue from the establishment in some of 
our country towns of branches of the Sydney Technological Museum 
much may I think be anticipated. The conditions of existence in a 
young country like this seem naturally to lead to more or less 
centralisation, in scientific as in so many other matters. Now the 
dulness attendant upon life in an average country town to the man who 
is not fortified against it by the pursuit of some rational hobby is a stern 
reality often leading to misapplied energies and utter waste of time, not 
to speak of the acquisition of undesirable habits. Yet very often it is 
in the immediate neighbourhood of just such localities that there are 
special opportunities of observing particularly interesting specie-; of 
plants or animals in a state of nature, of working out the stratigraphical 
or palaeontological relations of particular strata, of obtaining important 
data relating to the scientific aspect of mining, or of collecting relics and 
traditions of the fast disappearing black-fellow ; and too frequently it is 
exactly in such localities that such opportunities excite little or no 
interest whatever. Not absolutely always, however, I am glad to be 
able to state, since we number among our own members a few who 
under such circumstances have risen to the occasion ; but our Societies 
want more of such men, and the colony at large needs more of them. 
Country museums in the hands of judicious curators alive to the value 
of their opportunities may become directly educative, and do much 
towards supplying the present want of means of fostering a love of 
nature in the rising generation, as well as offer a counter attraction to 
those very much less rational and undesirable ways of ' killing ' time, 
which too frequently present themselves. In answer to my enquiries 
Mr. Maiden has been good enough to furnish me with the following 
particulars which I am glad to make use of: — 

" ' Local museums in connection with the Sydney Technological 
Museum have been established at Goulburn, Bathurst, West Maitland, 
and Newcastle, and another will shortly be opened at Broken Hill.' 

" 'The exhibits are housed in substantial buildings — the large halls 
of the Mechanics' Institutes being rented at Gioulburn and Newcastle, 
while at West Maitland the large hall of the old Masonic buildings is 

" ' At West Maitland the local Science Association has presented 
its valuable natural history collection to the Museum, and at the other 
centres scientific societies have been started which will assist in the 
working-up of the museums, so that most of these museums will contain 
a natural history side as well.' 

"' The local science master, or head of the local Technical School, 
is the curator, and he corresponds direct with the Curator of the Sydney 
Technological Museum in matters of museum detail. He is quite at 
liberty to devote a portion of his time to original research, or to give 
lectures, &c.' 

"'Each museum contains about 1^,000 specimers exhibited in 
suitable show-cases. Endeavours are being made to form in each 
museum a display of the products of the district in which it is situated, 


and substantial additions to the collections have been received already. 
Numerous applications for the formation of museums in different 
centres of population have been received, but at present it is proposed 
to confine them to towns in which technical colleges have already been 
founded.' " 

Sydney, February 25th, 1891. — The Hon. James Norton, LL.T)., 
M.L.C., in the chair. 

Papers. — (1) " On the Anatomy of some Tasmanian Land Snails," 
by C. Hedley, F.L.S., Corr. Mem. This paper is a contribution to a 
knowledge of the soft parts of Bulimies dufresni, Leach, B. tasmanicus, 
Pfr., Anoglypta launcestonensis, Reeve, Bhytida lamjrra, Pfr., Helicarion 
verreauxi, Pfr., and Cystopelta petterdi, Tate. 

(2) " Notes on a small Collection of Hymenoptera from Narrabri, 
N.S.W," by. W. W. Froggatt. The writer gives a list of the species 
comprised in the collection exhibited by Mr. Musson at the December 
Meeting. The occurrence of Thynnus BrencJdeyi, Smith, a species rare 
in collections, previously only recorded from Champion Bay, W. A., is 
particularly interesting. 

(3) " Description of a new Species of Tortricidce," by J. Hartley 
Durrant. (Communicated by A. Sidney Olliff). A new species of 
Paluzobia from Tumut and Mt. Kosciusko is described under the name 
P. longestriata. 

(i) "Stray Notes on Lepidoptera," No. 2, by A. Sidney Olliff, F.E.S. 
A short note descriptive of a new species of Libythea from Somerset, N. 
Australia, proposed to be called L. nicevillei, hitherto confounded with 
L. myrrha, Godart, and of a singular variety of Euschemon Rafflesii? 
from the Richmond River, N.S. Wales. A specimen of the butterfly 
was exhibited. 

(5) "Notes on Australian Aboriginal Stone Weapons and Imple- 
ments." Nos. x.-xv., by R. Etheridge, jun. A continuation of former 
Notes read before this Society. The author now describes additional 
stone knives from Northern Australia, and one made of bottle glass ; 
small and beautifully formed spear-heads from Kimberley; larger lanceo- 
late spear-heads from Nicholson River and Settlement Creek, N.W. 
Carpentaria ; talismanic stones from New England and North Queens- 
land, the latter a very interesting tael formed of two rock crystals joined 
by a gum-cement mixed with human hair; a gouge from North Queens- 
land ; and an awl, or some form of piercing instrument, made of a nail, 
and portion of a human radius. The author is indebted for an oppor- 
tunity of describing these interesting specimens to the kindness of Mr. 
C. W. de Yis, M.A., Curator of the Queensland Museum, and Messrs. 
W. W. Froggatt and E. C. Blomfield. 

Mr. Etheridse showed a fine collection of aboriginal stone knives 
and implements in illustration of his paper. 

Among exhibits, Mr. Hedley showed a colony of the nests of a 
trap-door spider, together with specimens of the animal, from Rose Bay. 
These spiders are abundant round Sydney, occurring even in the public 
parks of the city. A favourite spot for them is a patch of mossy earth 


in the crevice of a sandstone rock. The species exhibited forms a wafer- 
like lid, not as in some species a thick door like a gun-wad. The presence 
of several egg-bags in the larger burrows would indicate that the present 
month (February), is the breeding season. 

Mr. Fletcher exhibited twj specimens of a land planarian (Bipalium 
kewense, Moseley,) collected by Mr. J. J. Lister atTTpoju, Samoa, under 
stones in the bush ; and a specimen of the same species from Eltham, 
Victoria, collected by Mr. W. W. Smith ; seeing that this planarian has 
now undoubtedly been introduced into many widely separated localities, 
and that the species of the genus whose habitats are certainly known 
belong to the Palrearctic and Oriental regions, there seams little ground 
for supposing it to be indigenous in Samoa. 

Also two instances of floral prolification in the " Flannel-flower " 
(Actinotus helianthi), in which from the ordinary umbels spring, in 0113 
case about seven, in the other eleven small secondary umbels each with 
its involucre of woolly bracts ; the specimens were gathered at Oatley a 
few days ago. 

Also living specimens of three species of frogs (Ili/la coendea,. H. 
peronii, and Llmnodynastes salminii, Str. ), brought from Go nigra on 
the Namoi, near Walgett, by Mi'. A. Carson ; these specimens offer 
fresh evidence of the very wide distribution of these three species in the 
interior of the colony; in the specimens of L. salminii the dors d stripes 
which in spirit specimens are pink or rose-red are of quite a different 
tint, being a bright ochreous-yellow. Specimens of an interesting frog 
( lli/la gracilenta) from the Richmond River were also exhibited; the 
species has not previously been recorded from N.S. VV. 

Sydney, March 25th, 1891. — Professor Haswell, M.A. D.Sc., 
President, in the chair. 

New member. — Mr. Oswald B. Lower, Adelaide. 

Papers. — (1) "On the Classification of Eucalypts," by Rev. VV, 
Woolls, Ph.D., F.L.S. After critically reviewing the characters of 
Eucalypts which have, from time to time, been made use of for 
classificatory purposes, more particularly those of the anthers and of the 
bark as set forth in the antherial and cortical systems of Bentham and 
Mueller, the author suggests the probable value of a classification based 
on the characters of the fruit — such as shape, position of the capsules, 
the number of cells, and the appearance of the valves, &c. 

(2) "On the Trail of an extinct Bird," by 0. VV. De Vis, M.A., 
Corr. Mem. A new genus and species (Lithoplmps ulnaris) are 
provisionally proposed for an extinct pigeon whose ulna was found in 
deposits of the Nototherian period at Warwick, Darling Downs, 

(3) " Note on an Extinct Eagle," by C. VV. De Vis, M.A., Corr. 
Mem. The generic name Taphaetus is now proposed for a bird whose 
femur came to light in the same deposits as the ulna of LitJiopliaps, and 
which presents characters irreconcilable with those of any genus known 
to the writer. To the same genus in all probability must be referred 
the species previously described as Uroaetus brachicdis (Proc. Roy. Sec. 


Qsld., Vol. VI., p. 161), its correct association with the genus Uroaetus 
being now more than doubtful. 

Both papers were illustrated by speciments of the fossil bones 
referred to. 

(4) "The Land Molluscan Fauna of British New Guinea," by 
C. Hedley, F.L.S., Corr. Mem The species already described are 
enumerated and discussed, sundry errors in classification and habitat 
being rectified, and twenty species mostly collected by the author 
himself dui'ing a recent tour in Papua are described as new. Anatomi- 
ical descriptions of a few species are included. 

Mr. Fletcher exhibited for Mr. J. H. Rose two living specimens 
of an inland species of frog (C'hirolejites platyceplialus, Gthr.), obtained 
near Walgett, previously only recorded from Bourke and Dandaloo, 
N.S.W. It is an expert burrower, Mr. Hose reporting that he has 
never met with it above ground. 


Melbourne, 9th March, 1891. — D. Best, Esq., in the chair. 

The report of the Club's recent excursion to Heidelberg was read 
by Mr. F. G. A. Barnard. 

Papers. — (1) " Sagacity of Insects," by J. Lidgett. 

(2) "On the Australian Bustard," by C. French, F.L.S. 

(3) " An Acid Secretion from the Seeds of Grevillea mimosoides" 
by Nicholas Holtz. The secretion which is powerful and acrid enough 
to produce sores, the scars of which remain for many months after, is 
thought to be useful in protecting the seeds from the attacks of 

A number of natural history notes were communicated as follows: — 

(1) " On the occurrence of the Comb-crested Parra in Victoria," by 
A. J. Campbell. 

(2) " How Flies die," by G. H. Hennell. 

(3) " On the impaling of Butterflies on Thistles," by G. Lyell, Jun. 

(4) " On the Earthworm," and 

(5) " A new Potato disease," both by G. Renner. 

A large number of articles of interest were exhibited. 


Melbourne, 12th March, 1891. — At the annual meeting the follow- 
ing gentlemen were elected office-bearers for the year: — President : 
Professor W, C. Kernot, M.A., C.E. Vice-Presidents : J. Cosmo New- 
berry, C.M.G., B.Sc, and E. J. White, F.R.A.S. Hon. Treasurer: 
C. R. Blackett, F.C.S. Hon. Librarian: J. E. Neild, M.D. Hon. 
Secretaries : H. K. Rusden, and Professor W. Baldwin Spencer, M.A. 


Members of Council: A. W. Howitt, F.G.S., J. Jainieson, M.D., Pro- 
fessor Laurie, M.A., A. H. S. Lucas, M.A., Professor R. T. Lyle, M.A., 
A. Sutherland, M.A., C. A. Topp, M.A., A. S. Way, M.A. The follow- 
ing Members continuing to hold office from 1890- -R. L. J. Ellery, 
F.R.S., G. S. Griffiths, F.G.S., Professor Orme Masson, M.A., and Mr. 
H. Moors. 

An ordinary meeting was held afterwards. 

Papers. — (1) " A new species of Dictyonerua" by T. S. Hall, M.A. 

(2) " A preliminary account of Synute pulchdla, a new genus aud 
species of Calcareous Sponge," by Arthur Dendy, D.Sc. 

(3) -'The Geology of the Southern portion of the Moorabcnl 
Valley," by T. S. Hall, M.A., and G. B. Pritchard. 

Melbourne, 9th April. — Papers. — (1) " On the Occurrence of the 
Genus Belonostomus in the Rolling Downs Formation (Cretaceous) of 
Central Queensland," by R. Etheridge, .Tun., F.G.S., Palaeontologist to 
the Geological Survey of New Soutli Wales, and Arthur Smith Woo 1- 
ward, F.Z.S., of the British Museum. 

(2) "Note from the Biological Laboratory of the Melbourne 
University," by Professor W. Baldwin Spencei - , M.A. 



Wellington, 13& February, 1891.— Chas. Hulke, Esq., President, 
in the chair. 

New Member. — Mr. W. T. Cohen. 

The following is an abstract of the annual report: — The Report 
stated that during the past year six general meetings had been held, 
which had on the whole been fairly well attended, and some interesting 
discussions had taken place on the various papers read, as will be seen 
from the reports of the proceedings published in the usual liberal 
manner by Messrs. Lyon and Blair in their Monthly Record and Review. 
The titles of the papers, with the names of the authors, were given, 
making a total of twenty-five. Four new members had been elected 
during the year, the total number of members now on the books 
being one hundred and fifty. The reseipts during the year amounted 
to £150 3s. 6d., and the expenditure was £120 4s. 3d., leaving a 
balance of <£29 19s. 3d. ; there was also a fixed deposit in the bank 
of £20, the first pajanent to the prize fund. 

The following officebearers were elected: — President, Mr. E. 
Tregear; Vice-Presidents, Mr. A. McKay and the Hon. R. Pharazyn; 
Council, Sir J. Hector, Sir W. Buller, Messrs. W. M. Maskell, A. de B. 
Brandon, G. V. Hudson, W. T. L. Travers, and C. Hulke ; Secretary 
and Treasurer, R. B. Gore ; Auditor, T. King. 

* Our report is taken from the Monthly Rcord and Review. 


Papers. — (1) " On a Deposit of Diatomaceous Earth at the Bay 
of Islands," by A. McKay, F.G.S. The author stated that he had had 
an opportunity of examining a deposit of diatomaceous earth about 
half a mile to the east of the residence of the Hon. Henry Williams, 
and that he brought samples from the upper surface, and from about 
one foot below the surface of the deposit, which were submitted to 
Mr. Maskell, who found only recent species in the samples from the 
upper part, and fossil forms only in the samples taken at about a foot 
from the surface of the deposit. Such being the result of the exami- 
nations made by Mr. Maskell, on his describing the conditions under 
which the deposit had accumulated, by way of explanation of the facts 
Mr. Maskell suggested that probably an older diatomaceous deposit 
had been denuded for supply of the lower part of the deposit under 
description, and in which only fossil forms are found, while the higher 
and last deposits were manifestly due to diatoms which (of recent 
forms only) had lived and died within the area wherein their remains 
had accumulated. But this is not the only explanation that may be 
advanced, and he (Mr, McKay) deemed it necessary to describe more 
closely the position of the deposit and the conditions under which it 
had accumulated. After giving a full account of the locality in ques- 
tion, and the position of the specimens collected, Mr. McKay stated 
that on the stones and fern fronds which are under water when the 
basin is full, the green living diatoms are deposited, forming a coating 
of from ^in. to ^,-in. thick, according to circumstances. This deposit 
round the margin of the basin soon bleaches white on the surface. 
According to Mr. Maskell it is almost wholly composed of living 
forms of diatomacefe. Very probably the same samples, Mr. McKay 
thought, would be found among the grass-roots, and for the first few 
inches into the deposit filling the basin itself. Unfortunately, Mr. 
McKay did not bring samples to prove that such is the case ; but it 
is so self-evident that this must be so that no doubts need be ventured 
on the subject. The deposits in the middle of the basin are 6ft. to 
8ft. thick, and were exposed by the cutting-down of a cattle-track 
crossing the creek at this place. Mr. McKay took a sample from 
about 1ft. below the surface. Some of this also was examined by Mr. 
Maskell, whose decision as to the fossil nature of the species forming 
this part of the deposit has already been stated. Subsequently Mr. 
Maskell forwarded samples to England, which were examined bj r one 
of the chief authorities on diatoms, whose decision was in accordance 
with the conclusion Mr. Maskell had already arrived at. Such were 
the facts of the case, and such the conclusions arrived at by competent 
authorities. And yet he (Mr. McKay) was not satisfied that the true 
explanation had been hit upon; and here he ventured a theory of 
explanation to which, though there might be objections grave as 
applied to Mr. Maskell's explanation, they were yet not the same, and 
he had therefore written the paper so that the Society might have an 
opportunity of debating the probabilities of each. Considering the 
conditions under which the diatomaceous deposits had accumulated, 
it was reasonable to expect that the recent forms of diatoms would be 
found in the lowest, as well as the highest, beds of the deposit; and it 
was certainly surprising that the upper beds, or latest part of the 
deposit, should be wholly composed of recent species, which were 
absent from the middle and lower parts. It was quite a possibility 


that the fossil-species forming the bulk of the deposit had been derived 
from an older deposit, either forming the bed of the lake or now 
buried beneath the scoria hills to the east of Paoroa. But it seemed 
to him that, in order to account for the facts of the case, it must be 
supposed that at first only fossil-species carried along the underground 
channels were deposited in the little basins whence the specimons 
were obtained. And as the deposit was entirely composed of fossil- 
species to within 1ft. of the present surface, the introduction or 
appearance of living forms was of very recent date. As, however, the 
whole deposit was manifestly of quite recent date, and as at first the 
conditions were as fit for the existence of recent forms of diatoms as 
they now were, it seemed extraordinary that throughout the deposit 
there was not a mixture of fossil and living species. Taking these 
facts into account, he (Mr. McKay) would prefer to account for the 
difference -in the species found in the top and bottom beds of the 
deposit, by supposing that the species first living in the pond gave 
place to other forms, either modified descendants of the original 
species or species introduced from different stocks, and in this way 
would avoid the necessity of hypothecating an older deposit, the exis- 
tence of which had not been proved, and, at the same time account 
for the separateness of the living and extinct forms as they were 
found in the higher and lower parts of the deposit. He would here 
add that as the surface-layers were formed wholly of living forms, and 
all were extinct at about 1ft. 6in. from the surface, it seemed reason- 
able to suppose that at, say, 6ft. from the surface other and quite 
distinct species might be found. And as Mr. Williams informed him, 
he (Mr. Williams) dug into the deposit to a yet greater depth without 
passing through it Other and quite distinct species, it was probable, 
would be found in the first-named and lower parts of the deposits. 
If samples were taken not more than 6in. apart in the section of the 
deepest part of the deposit, an examination of these would be likely to 
set at rest any doubts as to the true origin and mode of accumulation, 
since it was mainly a derived and secondary deposit ; then from about 
lft. from the surface to the greatest depth there should be little 
variation of the specific forms ; while on the other hand, if the species 
changed more than once, that would go far to prove the correctness 
of his theory on the subject. 

Mr. Maskell said that as he had been referred to in Mr. McKay's 
paper, it would be necessary for him to ask the writer's leave to add a 
a short note for the Transactions, explaining Iris view of this rather 
puzzling matter. He had no pretensions to a knowledge of geology ; 
but it was possible that a micoscopist's observations might sometimes 
come in useful as an aid to a geologist, and perhaps this was the case 
in the present instance. Put very shortly, the point was this : When 
Mr. McKay handed over to him some specimens of these diatomaceous 
deposits, he was at once struck with three peculiarities in them. 
First, the upper deposit evidently owed its greenish tinge to the 
presence of endochrome in the diatoms, showing therefore that these 
organisms were not only recent, but alive. Secondly, the lower 
deposit, on the other hand, was not only pure white, from the absence 
of any endochrome, but also remarkably and exceptionally clean and 
clear from sand and dirt, having all the appearance of a perfectly 


pure fossil diatom aceous mass. Thirdly (and this was the important 
point), in the upper deposit he found only a quantity of two species of 
the genera Melosira and Himantidium, with a very few ISTaviculas ; 
whilst in the lower deposit, with one species of Melosira, and a few 
Navicular there were many specimens of a peculiarly-shaped diatom, 
which, from the distinct cross visible on it, he took for a Stauroneis. 
Having' submitted specimens of this to Dr. de Lautour, of Oamaru, a 
leading diatomist of the colony, that gentleman considered it as a new 
species ; and he agreed with Mr. Maskell that it was undoubtedly 
' fossil.' Specimens of the deposit were also sent to Mr. Grove, one 
of the first authorities in England on diatoms, and to Mr. Hardman, 
another very eminent student of the same family at Liverpool ; and 
these gentlemen, whilst ascribing this particular diatom to the genus 
Achnanthes, also agreed that it was clearly fossil. Now, the result of 
these investigations showed positively, as he thought, that there is a 
radical and important difference between the two deposits. The 
upper one is recent, with living diatoms and no Achnanthes ; the 
lower one is conspicuously full of Achnanthes, quite in a fossil state. 
If the geological evidence taken by itself, seemed to point to a simi- 
larity of conditions and of time in which both deposits were formed, 
the microscopical observations went to show that there must have 
been a considerable difference of time, at least. It seemed to him 
that the two classes of evidence would have to be taken together ; or, 
at least, the indications of the microscope should receive full attention. 
The case certainly was a peculiar one, as the two deposits were so 
closely adjoined. 

Mr. Hulke supposed that Mr. McKay wished to show that he 
had evidence of evolution, while Mr. Maskell contended that this had 
not been proved. Had these deposits been bones, Mr. McKay would 
not, he presumed, say they were the same had the bones been of 
distinct forms. It would be interesting to know whether the lower 
deposits were much abraded. 

Mr. McKay briefly replied, and said he felt sure that his state- 
ments would be fully borne out by anyone carefully examining the 
district where these deposits had been found. 

(2) " On the Botany of Antipodes Island," by T. Kirk, F.G-.S. 
Antipodes Island is about -AGO miles from Port Chalmers in a 
southerly direction, and is simply the crater of an extinct volcano. 
An overflow of lava on the eastern side has formed an angle where a 
lauding may be made with some difficulty, but only in the finest 
weather. In all other places the cliffs are steep, so that the island is 
practically inaccessible. The albatross and other oceanic birds breed 
on the island, which, in some places, is dotted over with the nests of 
the great albatross, constructed of earth, built up into a truncated 
cone about eighteen inches high, slightly concave on the upper 
surface, and usually containing one large egg. The highest point 
on the island, Mount Gallowaj^, a rounded hill, is about 1,320 feet 
above sea level. There is not a tree on the island ; nothing much 
larger than a gooseberry bush. The chief vegetation consists of 
masses of coarse sedges and grass. The island is about as desolate a 
place as can well be imagined. Some bushy scrubs at the base of 
Mount Galloway were enlivened by the yellow-headed parroquet, 


which was rather common although not abundant. About fifty-five 
species of plants were collected, of which the most striking was 
named Pleurophyttum criniferum, with smooth leaves something like 
rhubarb leaves, and erect stems five feet high, carrying large disc-like 
heads of reddish-purple flowers; it is found also on the Auckland and 
Campbell Islands. Two plants are peculiar to this little island : a 
pretty Gentian with yellow or red stems and leaves. The yellow- 
stemmed form has white flowers ; that with the red stems, white 
flowers striped with red, the result in both being that the flowers are 
inconspicuous ; the other plant is a large herbaceous Groundsel, 
resembling in some respects a species found on the Falkland Islands. 

(3) "On the Botany of the Snares," by T. Kirk, F.G.S. The 
Snares consist of a group of rocky islands, situate near the 48th 
parallel of south latitude, and about sixty-five miles from the South 
Cape of Stewart's Island. The principal island is inhabited by 
thousands of crested penguins, which perch on the trees in rare 
numbers, forming ' rookeries ' during a greater part of the year, but 
during the breeding-season the trees are forsaken. In many places 
the ground is honeycombed by petrels, which occur in large numbers. 
Several land-birds were noticed : a small snipe found also on the 
Auckland Islands ; a small bird only known elsewhere on the Chat- 
ham Islands ; and the South Island grass-bird ; all species with very 
poor powers of flight. Two fur-seals were also noticed. The island is 
remarkable for the occurrence of two grand trees, Senecio Muelleri, 
which is _ probably the largest species of the genus, and one of the 
grandest, the trunk being sometimes two feet in diameter, and the 
tree twenty-five feet high. The other is Olearia Lyalli, which is 
nearly thirty feet high, with leaves from four to seven inches in 
length, white on back surfaces, and producing racemes of large 
button-like velvety flower-heads on the tips of the branches. Both 
these trees are amongst the rare plants of the world, the first being 
confined to the Snares and Herekopere Island, the other to the Snares 
and the Auckland islands. The punui is a strong growing herb, 
which resembles in most particulars the punui of Stewart's Island. 
The leaves are sometimes two feet across, and are carried on leaf- 
stalks as thick as a rhubarb-stalk. About twenty-five other kinds 
were observed, two or three of which had evidently been introduced 
by sealers. 

(4) " On the Wandering Albatross, with an exhibition of speci- 
mens and the determination of a new species (JDiomadea r-egia)" by 
Sir Walter Buller, K.O.M.G., F.B.S. The paper reviewed the history 
of Diomedea exulans, and referred to an exhibition of specimens made 
by the author at a meeting of the Wellington Philosophical Society 
on February 13th, 18S5, when he had expressed his conviction that 
two distinct species of wandej ing albatross were being confounded 
under the above name. He had lately had an opportunity of 
examining sixteen examples of the supposed new bird (collected at 
Campbell Island, on the Auckland Islands, and off the ]New Zealand 
■coast), and he had no hesitation whatever in declaring it to be a 
distinct species, readily distinguishable from D-'umedea exulans by its 
larger size, by its perfectly white head and neck from the nest to 
maturity, and by its having the bare eyelids jet-black, at all ages, 


instead of being greenish-purple as in the other species. This 
albatross being undoubtedly the noblest of the entire group, he 
selects for it the distinctive specific name of Diomedea regia. Its 
great breeding-place is Campbell Island, where it nests some five 
weeks earlier than Diomedea exulans does on the Auckland Islands. 
Captain Fairchild, who has made the breeding habits of the albatross 
his special study for some years past, was till lately of opinion that 
this larger species never came farther north to breed ; but on the 
occasion of his recent visit to the Auckland Islands, he found a colony 
of them breeding there, but in a separate locality and quite distant 
from Diomedea exulans. Here, too, in the Auckland Islands, the two 
species observed their own breeding times, Diomedea regia actually 
hatching out its young whilst the other species was only preparing to 
lay. Amongst the hundreds of nests of the latter examined by 
him only one contained eggs (two instead of one, a very unusual 
circumstance). The author's collection c mtains a fine series of skins 
of both species. Diomedea regia has a perfectly white head, neck, 
and body, with blackish-brown shoulders and wings, even from the 
ntst; one of the exhibits having still remnants of the down adhering 
to the plumage. Apart from the much larger size of the bill 
(exceeding eight inches, measured along the column), it is further 
distinguished from the common species by having a distinct black 
line along the cutting edge of the upper mandible. Diomedea exulans, 
on the other hand, has a dark coloured nestling, and the young bird 
of the first year has a uniform sooty-gray plumage, with a white face. 
The bird passes through many phases in its progress towards 
maturity, and no two individuals are exactly alike in the delicate 
mra-kings of their plumage. In his ' Birds of New Zealand ' (vol. ii, 
pp. 190-192), the author has described no less than ten of these 
intermediate or transitional states. 

The following papers were then taken as read : — 

(5) " On the Fossil Flora of New Zealand," by Professor Van 
Ettinghausen ; communicated by Sir James Hector, F.B.S. 

(6) " On Pleurophyllum, with description of New Species," by 
T. Kirk, F.L.S. 

(7) '• On the New Zealand Species of Centrolepsis," by T. Kirk. 

(8) ' : On the Macrocephalous Olearias," by T. Kirk. 

(9) " Notes on certain Carices," by T. Kirk. 

(10) "Further Notes on New Zealand Fishes," by Sir James 

(11) "On Patent Fuel," by Sir James Hector. 

(12) " On the Discovery of Leiodon Remains in Middle Waipara," 
by J. McKay, F.G.S. 

(13) " On Belemnites australis with Dicotyledonous Leaves," by A. 

(14) " On the Alleged Insular Character of Young Secondary and 
Older Teitiary Formations in New Zealand," by A. McKay. 

(15) "On Lithological Characters in Sequence as a Means of 
Cc-relation and as Indicative of Age," by A. McKay. 



Petrie's First Geography . . . . Is. 

Petrie's Geography of ]\ew Zealand . Is. 

Goyen's Complete Arithmetic . . Od. 

Answers to same Od. 

Goyen's Exercises in the Compound Rules Is. Od. 

Answers Is. Od. 

Curnow's Primer of English History . Is. 

Thomson's Yew Zealand Ferns . Os. 

The Story of the Otago Church and ( Cloth 3s. Od. 
Settlement. By Rev. C. Stuart Ross \ Paper 2s. 

Education and Educationists in Otago. 

By Rev. C. Stuart Ross . . 3s. Od. 

— ej£_fi^S"?<£ 



Matthews, Baxter & Co., General Printers, Dowling Street, Dunedin. 

JULY, 1891. 


22 AUG. 91 

No. 4, Vol. I. (New Issue.) 



Judiiio perpende : et si tibi vera videntur 

Dede manus : aut si fcdsum est, adciwjere contra. \< 


The Parliament of New Zealand in its relations to Science 

Source of the Gold at the Thames. Capt. F. W. Hutton, F.G.S. ... 

The remarkable hailstorm at Owaka, in January last. J. T. Bryant 

The Geographical Distiibution of the fresh-water Mussels. H. von Jhering ... 

On the Great Oar-Fish. H. O. Fohbes 

Vegetation of Lord Howe Is'and. W. Botting Hemsley 

The Botany of the Snares. T. Kirk 

Recent additions to the Feni Flora of New Zealand ... ... 

General Notes — 

Removing Tassels from Corn — Souring of Milk during thunder-storms— 
Transmission of Hereditary Characters— Auckland Institute— Theory 
of the Structure of the Placenta — Humble-bees in the North Island 
— T. W. Kirk, F.L.S. 

Meetings of Societies 

Otago Institute— Philosophical Institute of Canterbury— Auckland Institute 
— Linnean Society of New South Wales— Royal Society of New 
South Wales — Roy.-.! Society of Victoria. 





Posted — -Australia, America, and Britain, 12s. 6d. 


Vol. L, No. 4, N.Z. JOUKNAL OF SCIENCE (New Issue) JULY 891 


The columns of a scientific publication do not constitute a suitable 
place in which to discuss questions of politics, and it is therefore from 
no political stand point that we propose to look at the subject of the 
probable views of the present parliament of New Zealand on matters of 
scientific interest. Of late years the tendency has been towards a 
steady retrogression in the educational status of our House of Repre- 
sentatives. The men elected to represent the people at the seat of 
government may be as able and as earnest as their predecessors ever 
were, but their educational calibre is decidedly lower than it used to be 
ten or twenty years ago. In this respect the present House has 
probably reached a lower depth than any of those which preceded it. 
The men elected by most of the urban constituencies cannot, and we 
believe do not lay claim to belong to the best educated portion of the 
community, and hence the bearing of the present House towards 
scientific questions will be watched with interest and considerable 
anxiety. New Zealand has in the past achieved a very high reputation 
outside of its own narrow borders for the enlightened policy which its 
successive governments have pursued in matters scientific. Its survey 
department has always been presided over by men of high standing in 
their profession, whose efforts to do high-class work have been 
repeatedly recognized. The geological survey has since its inception 
been under the distinguished management of Sir James Hector, who, 
with the aid of able assistants, has year by year added to the know- 
ledge of the geological history of the colony, until it may well be 
questioned whether any part of the world has been so well worked out 
within such a short period and with such small means. We may 
probably rest assured that the present House will not do anything to 
cripple either of these branches of the service, because the practical 
value of their work commends itself even to the non-scientific mind. 
Indeed this is the only aspect in which scientific work is apt to be 
regarded by the 6i polloi, and it is as the outcome of this utilitarian way 
of looking at things that we anticipate any trouble or difficulty is likely 
to occur. 

Attention has already been, drawn towards such a sweeping reduc- 
tion in the staff of the Colonial Museum in Wellington that the best 
thing that could now be done would be to shut it up altogether. For 
years there has been a growing tendency to starve this institution, and 
now we believe that there is actually no one left in chai - ge beyond a 
mere caretaker. Sir James Hector's work covers a large field, Mr. 
Skey, who has so long acted as Colonial Analyst, always has his hands 
full of work, and Mr. Gore must have an amount of clerical work to get 
through which would satisfy even the Minister of Lands. But there is 
no one left to receive and properly preserve perishable specimens which 
may be left at the Museum, no taxidermist or articulator to set up the 


materials already accumulated. For years past an immense amount of 
material illustrating the natural history of these islands must have come 
into the hands of the Museum authorities, but without means, no 
Curator can do anything in the way of preserving and suitably exhi- 
biting such material, and so its educational value is entirely lost. The 
collections of the geological survey alone are mostly stored in boxes 
where no one ever sees them. 

Another direction in which the action of the present House and 
Government will be critically surveyed both within and outside the 
Colony is in its bearing towards the proposed Antarctic Exploration 
expedition. The important additions to be made to a knowledge of the 
unknown regions surrounding the South Pole will hardly commend 
themselves to our present rulers as a raison cV etre for the proposed 
expedition. But the possibilities of opening up valuable whale and 
other fisheries which from their geographical position would probably 
be largely controlled from New Zealand ports is an argument which 
may carry considerable weight. 

We hear sinister rumours about the intention of certain Hon. 
members to move in the direction of repealing the New Zealand 
Institute Act. The total cost to the Colony under this Act is a sum of 
,£500 voted annually for the publication of the volume of its Tran- 
sactions. We venture to affirm that there are few amounts for which 
the Colony gets better value, and which bring equal credit on the 
community. The suppression of the annual vote would be stigmatised 
and properly so, as the result of ignorance. 

There have been already, on the part of the so-called "labour" 
representatives in the present House, indications that they will give 
careful consideration to questions of the nature hinted at above. The 
real danger to enlightened administration does not, however, lie so 
much with this class as with that very considerable section of " clap- 
trap " politicians, who will do anything to catch a little cheap applause, 
and who are the most dangerous class when questions of education 
and science are concerned. 



The geological structure of the Thames district is as follows : — 
A sedimentary formation composed of dark coloured sandstones and 
slates, which are not younger than Triassic, is overlain quite uncon- 
formably by a younger volcanic formation, in which all the gold 
mines are situated. So far nearly all New Zealand geologists are in 
agreement; but opinions differ as to whether any long interval of 
time separates the volcanic rocks into two distinct series, the older of 
which is alone auriferous, or whether all should be considered as 
parts of one series. 


The gold appears to liave come out of the volcanic rocks and not 
to have been introduced from below through lodes traversing the old 
sedimentary rocks. The reasons for this opinion are (1) that after 
nearly forty years' prospecting auriferous reefs have only beeu found 
in the volcanic series or in the slates immediately in contact with them. 
(2) The gold veins are often small, irregular and branching, some- 
times only a quarter-of-an-inch thick, and often die out. They very 
rarely lead into large reefs, and when they do so, these large reefs are 
barren. (3) The amount of gold in the veins varies with the state of 
decomposition of the country rock, the veins in decomposed rock 
being richer than those in undecomposed rock. This being so it will 
be interesting to see what process of decomposition has gone on in 
the rocks, which has resulted in concentrating gold in the veins. 

The volcanic rocks themselves were originally lava streams of 
that variety called andesite. They consisted of a ground-mass, partly 
glassy and partly stony, containing abundance of fine grains of mag- 
netite and crystals of titaniferous iron-ore. In this ground-mass were 
larger crystals of lime and soda felspars and of some ferro-magnesian 
minerals, usually augite alone, but sometimes with hypersthene in 
addition, and more rarely hornblende. When fresh the rocks are 
dark grey to black in colour, and a close inspection shows the small 
white crystals of felspar embedded in the dark ground-mass. Small 
patches of these undecomposed rocks are still found here and there, 
But the mass of the rocks are now soft and light coloured, grey or 
greenish, or occasionally red. The original dark colour of the rocks 
was due to the iron ores and ferro-magnesian minerals they contained, 
and the change of colour is due to the decomposition of these 
minerals. In some places the magnetite has been changed into 
hematite and the rock has become red, as between the Karaka and 
Hape creeks, but this change is comparatively rare. In nearly all 
cases the ferro-magnesian minerals — Augite, Hypersthene, and Horn- 
blende, — have been altered into chlorite, and this newly formed 
chlorite was also often deposited as infiltrations in the ground-mass, 
giving the rocks a green colour. In some rocks the decomposition 
has gone no further, but in others another change took place the 
felspars being decomposed into quartz, calcite, and kaolin, while the 
chlorite was gradually dissolved out, leaving the rocks nearly white, 
but coloured grey by small specks of iron ore. At the same time the 
titaniferous iron ore was changed into an opaque white mineral called 
leucosene, giving the rock a spotted appearance. In some cases a 
still further change took place, the iron oxides being hydrated and 
gradually removed, and the calcite leached out, leaving nothing but 
quartz, kaolin, leucoxene, and pyrites. 

-The first series of changes took place at depths sufficiently great 
to be beyond the direct action of surface agents, and was probably 
produced by the percolation of warm acidulated water. The second 
set of changes were no doubt due to the direct action of cold carbo- 
nated surface water in limited quantity ; and the third set of changes 
to the same agent but in much larger quantity. The second and 
third set of changes would be gradually brought about by the 
removal of the overlying rocks by denudation. The first series of 


changes is probably connected with the volcanic action which caused 
the eruption of the lava streams. 

The pyrites found in the rocks was probably formed while the 
first series of changes was going on, but would be quite independent 
of them. Pyrites is never found as an original mineral in lava 
streams, but is always formed subsequently from the magnetite by 
the passage of sulphuretted hydrogen through the rock. 

The gold occurs in the veins in four different ways (1) in auri- 
ferous pyrites, (2) scattered in small grains through massive quartz, 
(3) in threads or scales between the points of quartz crystals in comby 
veins, the quartz at the base of the crystals being often stained red, 
and (4) in calcite, but only very rarely. It is never found enclosed 
in a quartz crystal. The auriferous veins usually contain abundance 
of pyrites, but other sulphides — stibnite, blende, arsenical-pyrites, and 
copper-pyrites — are in small quantity only, and these have been 
introduced subsequently to the gold. The carbonates of lime and iron 
have also been introduced into the veins after the quartz. 

Now how far do these facts of decomposition of the rocks and of 
precipitation in the veins tally with each other ? The first change in 
the rocks was the conversion of the ferro-magnesian constituents into 
chlorite. Now these minerals are anhydrous bisilicates of lime, 
magnesia, and iron, with some alumina ; while chlorite is a hydrous 
magnesian unisilicate with some alumina. Consequently in the 
process of transforming augite into chlorite ; silica, lime, and some 
iron must have been liberated; and we can easily conceive that 
the lime, being soluble, was entirely removed, while the silica and the 
iron might have been deposited in the fissures and the iron converted 
into pyrites by sulphuretted hydrogen. And if the ferro-magnesian 
minerals originally contained gold it might have been in part 
removed and deposited with the pyrites. During the second series 
of changes, which I have described, no more iron would be removed, 
but the whole of the chlorite with the remaining gold would be 
dissolved with the silica of the felspars and auriferous quartz would be 
deposited in the veins. If the decomposition of the felspars took 
longer than that of the chlorites, which is very probable, pure 
crystallised quartz might subsequently be deposited on the auriferous 
quartz. In the third series of changes the carbonates, which had 
been formed during the second series of changes, would be dissolved 
and part may have been deposited occasionally on the quartz. 

It will be thus seen that the two sets of facts tally very well, but 
there is no apparent reason why the sulphides of antimony, zinc, 
arsenic, and copper, should have been formed subsequently to the 
pyrites. Absence of gold in the well crystallised quartz shews that 
silica continued to be removed after all the gold had gone ; and we 
might account for the fine threads and scales of gold between the points 
of quartz crystals by supposing that during the second or third series 
of changes, the auriferous pyrites in the veins was, in some places, 
dissolved and that the gold was redepositecl, while the sulphur and 
most of the iron was removed as sulphate of iron, nothing but red 
stains being left behind. 

" . 


The only assumption that has been made is that the ferro- 
magnesian minerals originally contained gold, and this assumption is 
warrantable because, both hi Europe and in North America, gold and 
silver as well as many other metals have actually been found to exist 
in small quantity in these ferro-magnesian minerals, and Mr. Becker 
has shewn, almost conclusively, that the gold of the Comstock lode 
has been derived from them. If this hypothesis is the true one for 
the Thames, I should expect that, as the whole of the gold in the 
veins in the hard dark rocks is due to the first set of changes, it would 
exist chiefly as auriferous pyrites, while in the softer and more decom- 
posed rocks more gold would be added in auriferous quartz without 
pyrites. This however is based on the supposition that the gold has 
not travelled far in the fissures, which may be incorrect. Another 
deduction from the hypothesis is that the pyrites in the rock, away 
from the veins, is non-auriferous, for it is formed directly from the 
magnetite, while the auriferous pyrites has been formed from iron 
originally in the ferro-magnesian minerals, part of which may 
however have been subsequently deposited as secondary magnetite. 



An extraordinary hailstorm took place on the 23rd January, 1891, 
at Owaka, Clutha County, Otago, N.Z. The storm covered ground 
about 16 miles long by from half-a-mile to a mile wide. It commenced 
at the head of the valley and travelled down to the sea. At the head 
of the valley the hail began to descend first, and fell in large lumps like 
potatoes, about 3J- inches long by 2J inches ; as they fell on the soft 
ground they buried themselves. When they fell on grassy land they 
rebounded several feet into the air, and when they fell on coirugated 
iron roofs they broke through or split the iron open. One place was 
seen where the iron overlapped and the two parts were cracked. As 
the storm came clown the valley, the pieces of ice diminished in size but 
increased in number and quantity until it reached the lower part, wheie 
I observed it. Here, after the storm, I picked up several pieces and 
found them to be from 4J to 5J inches in circumference, but the 
greater number were about the size of a blackbird's egg, and when split 
open showed a core about the size of a pea, with three and sometimes 
four distinct coats surrounding it. 

At the head of the valley the pieces of ice lay on the ground like 
potatoes on a newly dug field, and little or no damage was done to the 
crops there ; but where the storm passed over the forest it broke off the 
small branches of the trees. The greatest damage was done in the 
lower part of the valley where the standing ciops of oats were beaten 
down and not one stalk left standing. The edge of the storm where it 


went through a field was quite distinct. In two cases the farmer 
afterwards reaped the one-half of the field not so severely affected. 

For two or three days previously the weather had been very warm. 
At 3.30 p.m. on the 23rd, black clouds began to gather and thunder to 
roll, in half-an-hour more the thunder commenced to rattle incessantly 
and so continued for an hour. I saw no lightning except a brown 
flash or two, as if a bird had flown swiftly by ; but the lightning 
showed itself in large sheets in the next valley, five miles north, where 
no hail fell. 

The thunder advanced until it was nearly over head, but it seemed 
a great many miles off. Long banks of clouds came from the cast and 
then ascended straight up. About 5 p.m. I could see the storm coming 
down the valley. Presently it reached the house. The view of all 
objects a hundred yards distant was shut out by the downpour of 
hailstones ; they battered the roof as if determined to crush it down • 
they struck the panes of glass in the windows and hurled the fragments 
across the room. The noise was terrific. We placed the children in 
the strongest room in the house, for we momentarily expected the roof 
to be crushed in. The ground outside was white with hail ; streams of 
water rushed wildly in all directions, for it was the middle of summer 
and the ice melted as it fell. In about twenty minutes the storm had 
passed. Heaps of ice lay in various places from 15 to 20 inches deep. 
The largest pieces of ice appeared to be made up of several smaller ones 
frozen together for they were of very irregular shape. I send a rough 
map of the district with the course of the storm outlined, showing the 
place of greatest density. There was no wind. The largest pieces of 
ice were not cubical ; they were flattish, long, and broad, but not very 
deep. Some were clear, and others milky-white. There had been a 
heavy shower of rain early in the morning. 

From the evidence, collected from half-a-dozen reliable men and 
from the position of the broken oat stalks, as well as from my own 
observation, I feel inclined to the following theory: — 

The cloudy envelope over the valley became charged with electricity 
to an extraordinary degree, until it became an electric storm which 
began to circle round and to ascend into very high regions, carrying 
with it masses of vapour. The higher masses of vapour were first 
converted into ice-drops ; these were dashed together and congealed, 
forming the largest ice pieces. The lower masses of vapour were then 
changed into hail. The largest pieces being the first formed were the 
first to fall, increasing their size as they fell through those below. The 
smaller hail came from the centre of the storm nearest to the earth. 
The whole must have resembled the figure usually given of a water- 
spout ; but in this case the water was turned into ice-drops. 

[Mr. Bryant's interesting account is drawn partly from his own 
observations, and in part from the evidence of a number of settlers in 
the Owaka district who were eye-witnesses of, and in some cases, 
sufferers by the storm, viz. : — Rev. W. G. McLaren, Messrs. Morton 
(who was at the head of the valley and measured the hailstones just 
after they fell), McCalman, junr., Clapperton, Todd, Dalton, Young, 
and others. A correspondent of the Clutha Leader says :— " The iron 


roof of Mr. Brugh's wool-shed was riddled. Mr. Garry had also 21 
holes made in his iron roof by the hail." In Mr, Jno. Thomson's house 
a new iron roof measuring 43 feet by 36 feet had 53 holes knocked 
through it. Mr. Morton reports having measured a piece of ice which 
fell that day, and which was 12 inches long by 5 inches broad — 
thickness not given. He also says— "I measured a number of hail- 
stones which averaged 3 % inches in diameter." Owing to the warning 
given by the dense gathering of the clouds and the preliminary thunder 
neither people nor cattle were hurt, as all had time to get under shelter. 
— Edit.] 


(From "Das Ausland fiir Erd-und Volkerkunde," 1890, Stuttgart). 

The exchange of mammals between North and South America 
took place only towards the end of the tertiary period. The Old 
World with North America seems to be the land where the placental 
mammals originated ; those families which are characteristic of South 
America, especially the Bodentia, occurred in early tertiary times 
only in Europe not in North America, and South America, therefore 
must have obtained its or-iginal stock of mammals from the Old 
World. The subsidence of the old communicating bridge (the 
Atlantis) and the continuance of the central-American sea up to the 
end of the tertiary epoch gave, in consequence of the long isolation, 
the peculiar character to the South American fauna. The littoral 
marine mollusca wall in time help to identify the extension of the still 
fabulous Atlantis. The number of molluscs already known from 
South America and the Antilles on one side, from the Mediterranean 
and West coast of Africa on the other side, is already considerable. 
Recently some Nudibranchiatce, hitherto known only from the Medi- 
terranean and the East Atlantic Ocean, have been found : Boris 
verrucosa on the coast of Brazil by myself, and Tetliys leporina in the 
Gulf of Mexico by Bergh. 

The geographical distribution, together with the geological 
appearance and distribution of the mammals during the tertiary 
period gives an excellent opportunity for ascertaining the distribution 
of land and water during that period. But for the Secondary epoch, 
when there were hardly any placental mammals, these means are of 
no avail. Here the fauna of the fresh-water may help us. On study- 
ing the fresh-water fishes with regard to their distribution it is 
surprising to find that they show quite different geographical regions 
to those of the land-fauna. A map of the different regions of fresh- 
water fishes has quite another aspect than one on which Wallace's 
regions of the land-fauna are entered. 


This fact has hitherto been much neglected, nor has it been 
satisfactorily explained. Is it not surprising in the highest degree to 
see on such a map Chile and Patagonia separated from the remaining 
part of South America, and united with New Zealand ? We shall see 
that the fresh-water mollusca show a similar appearance. And yet 
the explanation is not difficult to be given. The study of the fresh- 
water mollusca shows that the earliest palaontological genera are at 
the same time cosmopolitan or most widely distributed in all parts of 
the earth and on many of the larger islands, the genera Planorbis, 
Physa, Limncea, and Ancylus are found. 

All these genera appear already in the Jura, partly even in the 
the Carboniferous and represent the oldest, palrcozic fresh-water fauna. 
The genus Unio shows very much the same distribution, appearing 
also already in the Jura formation, whilst all the genera of the 
Najadce, coming into existence much later, have a perfectly different 
geographical distribution. Especially Anodonta, which appears only 
in the tertiary period, and Ampullaria and its nearest allies show a 
much narrower distribution, they are missing both in Chile and West 
Peru as well as in New Zealand and Australia. When these genera 
originated and began to spread, there was evidently no land-com- 
munication between the Asiatic continent and its islands, and 
Australasia. The numerous species of those genera could therefore 
not reach Australia and New Zealand. 

A similar case lies before us in the fresh-water fauna of Chile 
and Peru, which shows the old fresh-water genera, but not the 
younger genera Ampullaria and Anodonta. 

Besides some widely distributed genera, the family of the Najadce 
has a number of smaller genera, some of thftni inhabiting Africa, but 
the greater number South America. Of the latter belong to the 
Anodonta group : Aplodon, Spix (Monocondylcea), Mycetopus and 
Columba (Leila) ; to the Unio group : Hyria, Castalia and Castalina. 

All the Najadce of South America just mentioned are nearly 
related, as shown by the mode of hatching the embryos. The South 
American embryos are developed in the internal branchiae, whilst the 
European Najadce hatch their larva? in the external branchise. 
Nothing is known of the development of the African Najadce. 
Perhaps they will show some of the peculiarities of the South 
American Najadce. 

The distribution of the genera of the Najadce over South America 
is very peculiar. West of the Andes, in Peru and Chile, the genus 
Unio alone is found, which occurs also everywhere in the eastern 
parts. In the latter parts of South America we find in addition the 
afore-mentioned genera, peculiar to this country. 

Previous to the upheaval of the Andes, in the place of the Chile 
of to-day, there must have been land in existence richly provided with 
fresh water ; which is proved by the genera of fresh-water animals 
common to Chile and La Plata. The fauna of the La Plata and Rio 
Grande do Sul waters is much richer than that of Chile, but the 
genera of the latter are also found east of the Andes. Amongst the 
Najadai is : — 


Unio auratus, from Chile, closely allied to Unio rhuacoicus of Uruguay 

„ arancanus „ „ „ „ „ faba ., 

,, atratus „ „ „ „ ,, lepidior „ 

„ montanus „ ,, „ „ „ Beskeanus of S. Paulo. 

They are so nearly allied that the question may be raised whether 
they belong to one species or not. 

Of Crustacea, Parastacus and uEglcea Icevis are common to Chile 
and Rio Grande do Sul, the latter having in both places the parasite 
Temnocephala. Most important is the relation between the La Plata 
and Chile fauna. The upheaval of the Andes in the beginning of the 
tertiary period divided a formerly united territory into two parts, 
between which no more exchange was possible. The genera and 
species common to both parts represent the original stock of fresh- 
water animals, but what is only found in Eastern South America 
represents the tertiary addition, coming from the East. 

All we know about fossil fresh-water mollusca confirms this 
hypothesis. The only genus of the Najadcn reaching far in the 
Secondary epoch is the genus Unio, and this is the most widely 
distributed, the only one really cosmopolitan. As in Chile, no 
Anodonta have been found in Australia and New Zealand, nor 
Ampvllaria either, though this genus is nowhere missing from the 
Philippine Islands to Brazil. Dr. GUnther unites the fresh-water 
fishes of Chile and New Zealand in one region ; the study of the 
Najadce confirms it. Unio mutabilis, Lea, found in New Zealand and 
Australia, has its nearest ally in Unio auratus of Chile. 

The absence of alligators and turtles from Western South 
America can only be explained by their immigration having taken 
place in tertiary times. As in Najadce there is also a very great 
difference in the Chelonia of North and South America. A fauna 
common to North and South America does not exist, but on the 
contrary only the greatest contrasts. This fact can only be 
understood by admitting a separation up to the end of the tertiary 

The Iresh-water fishes of North America are those of the 
paksarctic region ; but the Characinidce, Chromidce, &c, of South 
America have their representatives in Africa, There must have been 
land communication between Africa and South America. The 
African Testudo sidcata is also found in Patagonia. 

Of the Pontaderice, common in South America, not only several 
genera, but also one species, Eichhomia natans, occur in tropical 
Africa, besides Pistia stratiotes, Lemna polyrltiza and other Brazilian 
water-plants. The world-wide distribution of many species of water- 
plants, from East Prussia to Australia, and from South America to 
East India could not be understood if we did not suppose that they 
are very old forms, existing already in the Secondary period, and 
whose distribution occurred at a time when the now separated 
continents were continuous. 

The marine littoral mollusca of East and West America consist, 
with the exception of one Siphonaria and Cuspidaria patogonica, of 
quite different species and partly of different genera. 


It seems that during the Secondary period there were four more 
or less continuous lands; three archi-continents formed, an arctic, 
an antarctic and a tropic atlantic. The first is identical with Heil- 
prin's holarctic region. The connexion between Europe and North 
A merica must haye been more extended, whilst there was, up to the 
tertiary period, no land communication Vith South America, or at 
least only formed by a number of islands. 

The connexion between South America and Africa seems to be 
confirmed also by the as yet but little studied Najadce. The African 
Iridina and Spaflia have their nearest allies in Mycctojms and Anodonta 
of South America. Iridina, or similar forms, are also found in the 
eocene fresh-water deposits of Brazil, which very likely are erroneously 
considered by White as cretaceous. Even in Australia and Asia we 
find a Mycctyms or allied genus. Those fragile, elongated, iriclina-like 
forms are therefore those which appear next to Unio. Their scanty 
distribution in Australia and absence from New Zealand and Chile 
show that the land-bridge which once existed between Australia and 
the Indo-Malayan territory disappeared during, or shortly after, the 
cretaceous epoch, at which time the immigration of Mycetojms had 
taken place. H ad it been longer in existence, Australia would also 
have received a stock of placental mammals ! The tertiary genera of 
the Najadcu and the Amyullari<i> could therefore not reach Australia 
nor New Zealand. 

Many observations on the structure of the umbo seem to prove a 
near connexion between the African and South American Unio, but 
only the examination of the animals can solve the question. 

Additional to the archiboreal and archiatlantic continents there 
would be the archiaustral continent, reaching from Chile over New 
Zealand to Australia. 

The study of ihe fresh-water fauna will help us principally or 
perhaps exclusively to gain a proper knowledge of the geographical 
distribution of the organisms during the Secondary epoch as well as 
for the distribution of land and water during that period. 



On the morning of the 28th of May I received a note from Mr. 
Warnes, the fishmonger, requesting me to inspect a curious fish 
caught in Okain's Bay, Banks Peninsula, on the 26th, and which he 
was bringing up to town that day. On its arrival in Christchurch in 
the afternoon I found the fish to be a species of Eegcdecus, or oar-fish 
of unusually large proportions. 

Regahciis is a genus of fishes belonging to the family Trachyp- 
teridcv, or ribbon-fishes. According to Dr. Giinther, of the British 

* A paper communicated to the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury. 


Museum, they " are true deep sea fishes, met with in all parts of the 
ocean, generally found when floating dead on the surface or thrown 
ashore by the waves. Their body is like a band, specimens from 15 
to 20 feet long being only from 10 to 12 inches deep, and about an 
inch or two broad at their thickest part. The eye is large and 
lateral ; the mouth small, armed with very feeble teeth, or altogether 
wanting them; the head deep and short. A high dorsal fin runs 
along the whole length of the back, and is supported by extremely 
numerous and fragile rays; its foremost portion on the head is 
detached from the rest of the fin, and is composed of very elongate 
flexible spines." There is no anal fin. The ventral fins are reduced 
to a single long filament, terminating in an oar-blade-like expansion. 
The coloration of the body is of a beautiful glistening hue, like frosted 
silver, admirably set off by the rich rosy red colour of their dorsal 
and ventral fins. Black spots and irregular streaks, especially in the 
front part of the body, contribute their share toward the effective 
adornment of this singular fish. " At what depth Ribbon-fishes live 
is not known ; probably the depths vary for different species, but 
although none have yet been obtained by means of the deep sea 
dredge, they must be abundant in all oceans, as dead fishes, or 
fragments of them, are frequently obtained. There is no doubt that 
fishes with such delicate appendages as their crest and ventral fins, 
are bred and live in depths where the water is absolutely quiet, as a 
sojourn in the disturbed water of the surface would deprive them at 
once of organs which must be of some utility for their preservation." 
The Oar-fishes are the largest of the deep-sea fishes known. They 
derive their name from the singular form of their ventral fins, which 
reduced to one long slender and fragile filament, terminating in 
an oar-blade-like expansion which, projecting from its sides for a 
distance, in our specimen, of nearly 3-|- feet, are functionally useless. 

The Regaled, or Oared-Ribbon fishes, have been taken in the 
Mediterranean, in the North and South Atlantic, and in the Indian 
oceans ; in Australian waters, one has been taken off the coast of 
Victoria, and several on the shores of this colony ; but they are very 
scarce, not more than twenty captures having been recorded from 
England in the space of a century and a-half, and not more than 
thirteen from the coasts of Norway. The present specimen is the 
tenth caught in New Zealand. I take from a paper read before the 
Otago Institute by Professor Parker, F.R.S., who has compiled a list 
of these captures up to the date of his communication, describing the 
eighth species taken on our coast, the following notes : — Of these one 
was captured at Nelson in 1860, a second at Jackson's Bay in 1874, 
another (Regalecus pacificus, Haast) which is now in the Canterbury 
Museum, as well as a drawing of it by Dr. Powell, was caught at New 
Brighton in 1876 ; a fourth was cast ashore on Little Waimangarao 
beach, on the West Coast of the South Island ; a fifth (R. bamksii) at 
Cape Farewell in 1877; the sixth was thrown on the shore near 
Moeraki about the year 1881, and near the same place the seventh 
also (Regalecus argenteus, Parker) on the 14th June, 1S83, whose 
skeleton is now in the British Museum, South Kensington ; the 
eighth — a specimen of the same species — :ame ashorj in Otago 
Harbour about ten miles north of Dunedin, on June 3rl 1857, and 


is now in the Otago Museum, while the ninth was taken in Nelson 
Harbour on the 23rd September, 1890. Of the fewer than twenty 
specimens captured in England, eleven are referable, the same author 
observes, to a single species (Regalecus banksii), while one is assigned 
to Regalecus grillii. The specimen captured in May, 1878, between 
Victoria and Tasmania has been identified by Sir Fred. McCoy as 
Regalecus banksii. Taking as our guide, however, the key to the 
species of Regalecus given by Professor Parker in vol. xvi. of the 
"Transactions of the New Zealand Institute," it ought, it would 
appear, to bear the name of 7?. grillii, on account of the number of 
its dorsal fin rays. This specimen has been described and figured by 
Sir Frederick in the fifteenth decade of the Prodromus of the Zoology 
of Victoria. After a careful comparison of the descriptions and figures 
of the species of Regalecus known to me, I have come to the conclusion 
that the species that has been exhibited during the past week in Christ- 
church is identical with that taken off the Australian coast, viz., to 
the species described by Lindroth, under the name of Regalecus grillii. 
In an addendum to his paper in the twentieth volume of the 
" Transactions of the New Zealand Institute," Professor Parker, who 
while writing his excellent monograph on R. argenteus, gave the 
literature of the subject his careful attention, writes : — " Everything 
seems to lead to the conclusion that most of the supposed species of 
Regalecus are identical, and that the more recent specific names 
(including argenteus) will have to give way, probably in favour of 
Ascanius's original name glesne." The synonomy of the species is 
rather involved, and the works necessary to its elucidation are not 
within my attainment here. Professor Parker's opinion, however, is 
entitled to very great weight, and the observations on the present 
specimen tend to support it. This new specimen, therefore, ought 
strictly to be denominated R. glesne; but for the present I shall 
speak of it under the name R. grillii, to indicate that in my opinion it 
belongs to the same species as Lindroth described. 

This fish had been exhibited in Lyttelton, I believe, before being- 
brought to Christchurch, and had unfortunately, in its various 
transports, and perhaps also in its capture — for it was still alive 
when caught — suffered to some extent. It had lost much of its 
brilliant colouring, and most of the singular rays of its crest, as well 
as received damage to the long rays of the ventral fins. With 
these exceptions, however, the specimen was a particularly fine and 
complete one. The Regaled being deep sea denizens are generally 
found to have suffered on approaching the surface, from the expansion 
of their internal gases, consequent on the diminution of pressure; 
but the specimen under description showed no signs of any "loosening 
or tearing of its ligaments and tissues," by its ascent to the surface of 
the sea. 

The name Regalecus means Ring of the Herrings, because one of 
the earliest specimens taken on the British coast was first seen on the 
" herring ground," and being of a silvery hue, as is also the herring, 
the fishermen imagined they had discovered a mighty herring. 

It has been supposed that the Sea Serpents so often observed, 
but never caught, may probably be specimens of great oar-fishes 


swimming near the surface, a supposition I do not myself feel 
inclined to subscribe to. 

The following notes were drawn up under considerable dis- 
advantages, owing to the fish being under exhibition at the time, 
and that in a very badly-lighted room. I had to write amidst a 
talkative crowd, while my observations were confined to the one side 
— naturally the best — exposed to the public. Imperfect as they may 
be, I lay them before the Institute as a contribution toward our 
better knowledge — still very imperfect — of this rare genus of fishes. 

It is remarkable that all the New Zealand specimens have been 
found on the South Island; and like aU the other specimens, 
European or New Zealand, (except the Nelson Harbour one, which 
was a male), whose sex has been determined, the present is a female, 
and it has occurred on our shores at the same period of the year (the 
Spring and early winter), as they have invariably done. 

In order to facilitate comparison with the observations recorded 
by Prof. Parker in the Transactions of this Institute for 18S7, I shall 
arrange my notes under the same heads and in the order adopted by 

Size, Proportions and Number of Fin Rays. — It will be seen from 
the accompanying measurements that the present is the largest 
specimen of Regalecus yet taken on the coast, its length being 18 feet 
"10 inches, with its protrusile mouth not extended. It is probable, 
however, that it does not exceed by much the length attained by 
Prof. Parker's Otago Harbour specimen when complete. This 
specimen was broken across, and he conjectures that it was most 
likely about 1 7 feet in length. Its ribbon-like form is indicated by 
the proportion of its height to its length, which was -^, the New 
Brighton specimen was 1 i r , the Moeraki specimen, sent to London, 
y 1 ^, while the Victorian specimen was still more band-like, its height 
being only -£$ of its total length. The Otago harbour specimen is 
given as -j^, but if this were corrected for the length that the fish is 
conjectured, as stated above, to have reached, the proportion of 
height to length would closely approximate to that of the Okain's Bay 
example. In this specimen the neck crest is damaged, and a gap 
occurs in the dorsal tin, so that it is difficult, with absolute accuracy, 
to determine the number of fin rays. Taking 14, the number given 
by Professor Parker in the Otago Harbour specimens, as the probable 
number here, these were succeeded by 221 rays anterior to the gap, 
in which 1 7 were made out, — but there may have been one more, — and 
succeeded by 170 more to the termination of the tail, giving in all 
422, which comes very close to the number recorded by Lindroth in 
R. Grillii, and by Professor McCoy in the Victorian specimen, which 
is 423. 

Tail. — In the present specimen the tail is almost perfect, a mere 
fraction only being possibly absent. It terminates in a point, and is 
curved upwards for its terminal few inches. The dorsal fin extended, 
I am convinced, to, but it did not pass, I am certain, the extreme 
point. Its fin rays have been broken off for the last few inches, but 
with a magnifying glass it was possible to detect their broken 
extremities. There is, therefore, no caudal fin. There is no sign 


of any old fracture having at any time taken place, as the body 
graduates gently from head to tail. It would seem, therefore, that 
the supposition that the end of the tail " has been lost as a useless 
appendage at a much earlier period of the life of the fish," which has 
arisen from the circumstances that these fishes are so often found in 
a truncated condition, is probably groundless, and their mutilation is 
merely the result of accident. Moreover as the stomach has an 
extraordinary ctecal prolongation which extends for many feet behind 
the anus, it is evident that a loss of any considerable length of its tail 
would probably be fatal to the fish. 

Colour and Markings. — In general appearance the fish presented, 
on its arrival in Christchurch, numerous bright silvery patches, and 
indications that this colour had covered the whole general surface of 
the fish. These patches were eventually lost, and the fish assumed a 
light greyish colour. Its crest, its dorsal, pectoral, and ventral fins 
had faded to a dark salmon red colour. In some lights it could be 
detected that dark spots and stripes had been dispersed over the 
anterior part of the body, but they had almost faded out at the date 
of examination. As to their number, form, and situation, I can, 
therefore, speak with no certainty. On the sides of the body there 
are five (5) well-defined black bars or ridges, running longitudinally. 
These bands on examination proved to be composed of raised 
tubercles, and they are distinctly separated by interspaces, which 
in the fresh fish would be bright silvery stripes, quite free of 
tubercles, as a sensitive finger passed along them discovers only the 
very finest skin granulations. Above the uppermost of these bars, 
and separated by a smooth interspace, a broader tuberculated band 
extends up to the base of the dorsal fin. The tubercles in this band 
are not so rough as on the lateral bars. Toward the tail and at a 
few feet anterior to it these bars become lost, and exchange their 
dark colour for a silvery white. The second, which is the most 
prominent of all, runs furthest along the body and is finally lost at 
two feet from the tail, where the tuberculation entirely ceases and the 
rest of the body is soft and glistening. The first true bar and the 
sub-dorsal fin-band pass forward, which is not the case Avith the 
others, and terminate the front of the head above the anterior margin 
of the eye. The lateral line cuts the second, third, and fourth true 
bar (or ridge) a little posterior to the head margin of the operculum, 
while the fifth follows the lateral line for a great part of its length. 
The ventral surface is very roughly tuberculated, rougher than any 
other part of the body, the tubercles presenting a suspicion of points. 
Behind the anus the surface is very dark coloured, and was probably 
black in the living fish. 

In its internal anatomy this oar-fish agreed so closely with that 
already described as to require no further remark here. The liver, 
however, must arrest the attention of anyone opening the body of 
Regalecus by its pink colour, From this organ, when placed in spirit, 
escaped a very large quantity of a deep salmon-coloured oil. In the 
ovaria there were very minute ova, but, as in all the other specimens 
hitherto examined, they were unimpregnated, as the winter is 
evidently not their breeding season. 

The Regalecus has no teeth ; and I found in the oesophagus only a 


gelatinous glairy fluid, mingled with a quantity of very fine grey 
sand, whfle the food in the stomach consisted of finely-comminuted 
matter, entirely structureless under the microscope. It is probable, 
that Regalecus finds its food in the minute animal forms, or debris, 
among the fine sand at the bottom of still, deep "waters. 

As was found in the gigantic skate recently thrown on the 
Sumner coast, this Regalecus was infested to an extraordinary degree 
with intestinal worms, thousands extruding themselves from the 
liver as it lay on the table. They were found in the assophagus also. 
Perhaps these fishes become infested during the winter season with 
those parasites, and in their desire to rid themselves, it may be that 
they seek shallower water and are thus thrown on our coasts, by 
currents, in a dying state. 

I have to record my thanks to Mr. Warnes and the syndicate 
exhibiting this fish for their extreme courtesy and good nature in 
allowing myself and my assistant to intrude on their show whenever 
we desired, in order to make the notes recorded above, and especially 
for their kindness in permitting us to remove the fish from its stand 
for the purpose of obtaining a photograph of it. 

I am indebted also to Mr. Sparks, the taxidermist of the 
Museum, for his help and care in taking the measurements. 


(From " Nature," April 16th, 1891). 

There is nothing absolutely new to announce concerning the 
flora of this remote islet but what has been published in the form of 
Government reports, which have a comparatively restricted circulation, 
and many persons who would be interested in their contents are 
unaware of their existence. And even when one knows of the exis- 
tence of such reports, it is often difficult to procure them. Through 
the intermediary of Sir Saul Samuel, Agent-General for New South 
Wales, the library of the Royal Gardens, Kew, has just received a 
copy of a report on the state and prospects of Lord Howe Island, 
with a number of photographic illustrations of the scenery and vege- 
tation of the island ; and it is on account of these illustrations that I 
have thought it worth while making known to the readers of Mature 
the existence of such a report, though it was published as long ago as 
1882. Unlike the majority of such documents, this report is too 
meagre: "Thompson's farm" and other matters being mentioned 
and illustrated in such a manner as to take for granted an amount of 
previous knowledge that very few readers could possibly have 

Although so remote and so small, Lord Howe island supports an 
indigenous flora of a highly interesting character, especially inte- 


resting because it includes some plants whose nearest allies are 
natives of New Zealand. The island is about 300 miles from Port 
Macquarie, the nearest point of the Australian mainland, in 31 u 30' 
S. latitude. It is seven miles long, with an average breadth of about 
a mile, and the basalt mountains rise to a height of nearly 3000 feet. 
The soil is fertile, and is, or rather was, everywhere covered with 
vegetation. The scenery is beautiful ; the climate is described as 
unsurpassable, and a great future is predicted for the island as a 
sanatorium, "when the Australian colonies become more densely 
inhabited." Without waiting for the time when Australia will be 
crowded with inhabitants, Lord Howe Island might be made a 
pleasant holiday resort, involving just enough of a sea voyage to be 
exciting and exhilarating, and not long enough to be monotonous. 

The most complete account of the flora yet published is by Mr. 
Charles Moore, Director of the Botanic Gardens, Sydney, N.S.W., 
though many of the new plants then — 1869 — collected by him have 
since been published in various books and periodicals. The domi- 
nating feature in the vegetation is composed of palms, of which there 
are three or four species peculiar to this island — a condition of things 
paralleled in remote insular floras only in the Seychelles. Next in 
interest and prominence are the four or five endemic species of tree 
ferns, which, however, we are informed, in the illustrated report 
referred to, by the Hon. J. Bowie Wilson (botany by Mr. J. Duff), 
are fast disappearing from the lowlands, and will soon be extinct if 
their removal is not absolutely prohibited. In this connection one is 
gratified to find both the chief of the Commission of Exploration, and 
the botanist attached thereto, strongly urging the Government to 
take active steps to preserve the beautiful vegetation of the island, and 
especially to make no concessions, nor grant any leases that might 
entail any further destruction of the woods. Commonest among 
the other trees are Hibiscus Patersonii, Myoporum acuminatum, and 
Ochrosia elliptica— all three Australian trees ; one or more species of 
Ficus, and one or more endemic species of screw-pine. One of the 
vegetable wonders of the island is a huge banyan-tree (Ficus sp.), said 
to cover three acres of ground ; but no particulars are given of this 
remarkable tree, beyond a photograph of a portion of it. This is 
rather disappointing, because of all the famous banyan-trees in India, 
some of which are encouraged by artificial means in the development 
of the aerial descending roots, which eventually become auxiliary 
trunks, few surpass in size this one, on such a speck of an island. 
The celebrated banyan between Poona and Kolapore, in the Bombay 
Presidency, is, indeed, the only one, of which 1 have found a record, 
that covers a greater area than the Lord Howe Island banyan, and 
that, according to measurements given of the spread of its branches, 
must cover between six and seven acres. 

In striking contrast to the flora of Australia, the flora of Lord 
Howe Island, like that of New Zealand, contains exceedingly few 
species of the large natural order Leguminosa;. Out of five species 
collected, three are common sea- side plants that often establish 
themselves on a shore from seeds cast up by the waves. Of the 
other two, one belongs to the otherwise exclusively New Zealand 
genus Carmichaelia, and the other, Sophora chrysophyUa, is also a 


native of the mountains of the Sandwich Islands, and has hitherto 
been found nowhere between these two distant parts of the immense 
Pacific Ocean, and nowhere else in the world. From the foregoing- 
notes may be gathered what an interesting flora that of Lord Howe 
Island is, and it is to be hoped that the recommendations of the 
Commissioners for its preservation have been carried out by the 
Government of New South Wales. 



The Snares comprise several rocky islands situate on the 48th 
parallel of south latitude and about 65 miles in a south-westerly 
direction from the extreme southern point of Stewart Island. . Owing 
to their being outside the direct track of vessels they are but rarely 
visited, so that hitherto nothing has been known of their fauna or 
flora. My visit was restricted to a few hours in January, 1890, when 
I was able to land on the largest island, which is of irregular outline 
and about a mile and a half in its greatest diameter. The cliffs are 
steep and lofty, but a good boat harbour exists on the north-east side. 
The rocks are granitic, and the greatest altitude does not exceed 480 
feet. The rocks are everywhere covered with a deep layer of peat. 

There is but little fresh water on the island; two small rills issuing 
from swampy ground unite before reaching the cliffs, but the water is 
undrinkable, being polluted by the penguins ; and the few swamp- 
plants that occur exist under difficulties, being continually flattened 
under the broad feet of these birds, which abound everywhere, their 
numbers being but little reduced by the predaceous sea-hawks, which 
swoop down upon unguarded eggs or young birds, and are almost ready 
to attack man himself. 

The crested penguins (Eudyptes pachyrhynchiis) exercise an injurious 
effect upon large portions of the woody vegetation; they select sheltered 
places with an open aspect, where they perch upon the trees in vast 
numbers, forming large "I'ookeries" ; the trees thus honoured by their 
presence are soon killed by their pungent ordure. Various petrels — the 
" mutton-birds " of the Maoris — form their burrows amongst the roots 
of the trees, and may be heard mewing and puling in all directions. 
Several interesting land birds inhabit the island, the more noticeable 
being the Auckland Island Snipe (Gattinago Auchlandica) ; the grass 
bird (Sphameacus fulvus), although now rare on the mainland, was 
frequent on this little island, and associated with a small robin (Miro 
Traversii) only known elsewhere on the Chatham Islands. The 
occurrence of birds with such weak power of flight on these lonely 
islands is very suggestive. 

The true fur-seal was formerly plentiful on the Snares, but has 
almost become extirpated through the continuous visits of sealers, who 
have unintentionally intixxluced a few plants from the mainland. 

* From "The Journal of Botany." 


The greater portion of the island is covered with light and occa- 
sionally open bush, which never exceeds thirty feet in height. In a 
few places a dense scrubby growth of Veronica ettiptica, five to eight 
feet high, requires some exertion to force one's way through, the 
difficulty being aggravated by the penguins, which make vicious snaps 
at the legs, while the explorer is held fast by entangled branches above. 
Usually a belt of open land covered with tussock occurs between the 
bush and the mai-ginof the cliff, and a few small open patches occur also 
in the central parts of the island. In places where patches of bush have 
been felled by sealers the ground is covered with a dense growth of 
Veronica ettiptica intermixed with tussock. 

Approaching the island on a fine morning in January, the attention 
is at once arrested by the peculiar grey or whitish hue of the foliage, 
flecked here and there with green on the lower margin of the bush. 
On landing this is found to arise from the abundance of Olearia Lyattii, 
which is the principal tree on the island, and forms the greater portion 
of the arboreal vegetation. When growing in level situations of an 
open character it is a noble erect tree, with rather open spreading 
branches ; but when growing on sloping hillsides exposed to the wind 
it is often inclined, or with a prostrate trunk, the rootSj partly from 
the burrowing of the petrels, being torn out ; on the soil the branches 
rooting at their tips give rise to new trunks, which in their turn are 
brought to the ground and repeat the process. The short trunks are 
sometimes three feet in diameter, but the majority were from one to 
two feet, the extreme height of the tree rarely exceeding twenty-eight 


The mature leaves of this fine tree are excessively rigid and 
coriaceous, with a very short, almost sheathing petiole, orbicular -ovate 
or broadly ovate, and abruptly acuminate, from three to seven inches in 
length, white, with appressed tomentum on both surfaces, although that 
on the upper surface usually disappears during the first winter. The 
flower-heads are produced in terminal racemes from three to eight 
inches in length, and are rayless ; the rachis, peduncles, bracts, and 
outer involucral leaves are clothed with close snow-white tomentum, 
which forms a striking contrast with the almost black discoid heads, 
mostly composed of perfect florets. The involucral leaves are arranged 
in from five to eight series. 

Although this fine plant differs widely in its general appearance 
from 0. colensoi, it is difficult to point out good distinctive characters. 
It diverges chiefly in the more open habit, stouter branches, broader 
leaves with the pubescence partially persistent above, and especially in 
the involucral leaves being arranged in from five to eight series ; the 
last character alone being of any importance. The cultivator, however, 
will always consider it distinct. It is restricted to the Snares and to 
the Auckland Islands. 

The patches of green amongst the white masses of the Olearia were 
caused by another grand plant, Senecio Muelleri T. Kirk,* a noble 
species originally described from specimens collected on Herekopere 
Island, but the specimens in the original habitat are not nearly so 
large as those on the Snares, where it attains the extreme height of 

* "Transactions of New Zealand Institute," vol. xv., p. 359. 


twenty-six feet, with a short trunk two feet in diameter. The branches 
are somewhat naked, so that the tree presents a straggling appearance, 
but the handsome foliage and large terminal panicles of yellow flowers, 
place it amongst the tinest members of a large genus abounding in 
grand species. 

Veronica elliptica, which has been already mentioned, completes 
the short list of ligneous plants ; it is, however, of a more robust form 
than the plant found on Stewart Island and at the Bluff, the flowers 
being larger, with pure white corollas, which are never pencilled or 

The open land is covered with tussocks of the fine grass Poafoliosa 
Hook, f., a., freely interspersed with masses of Carex trifida, the largest 
of the New Zealand species ; a few small plants of no great importance 
are hidden away in the hollows between them. 

One of the most interesting plants in the island is Colobanthus 
muscoides Hook, f., which hitherto has been considered endemic on the 
Auckland, Campbell, and Macquarrie Islands, where it is plentiful. It 
is rare and local on the Snares, and appears to be confined to a small 
swamp in the centre of the island, but its discovery extends its northern 
range fully 150 miles ; subsequently I observed it on Antipodes Island, 
which shows a still wider extension of its range in an easterly direction. 
It forms rather large dense masses, the inner portion consisting of the 
partially decomposed stems and leaves of old plants and the roots of 
young plants. The seeds often germinate in the capsule, and it was no 
uncommon thing to find capsules still attached to the stem, and with 
apparently perfect seeds embedded some three or four inches below the 
surface of the mass, the old surface having become covered with a 
growth of young plants too quickly to allow of the germination of the 
buried seeds. 

Another interesting plant was a new Ligusticum, which I have 
named L. acutifolium; it was only observed in one place, at an altitude 
of about 350 feet above sea level ; its stems below the leaves were 
nearly as thick as a man's wrist, the entire plant being four feet high : 
a description is appended. 

The most striking herbaceous plant is undoubtedly the punui, 
Aralia Lyallii T. Kirk, var. robusta, the large orbicular leaves of 
which are sometimes two feet in diameter. It differs from the typical 
form in the absence of the remarkable stolons of that plant ; in the 
petioles being very stout, flat on the upper surface and convex beneath, 
giving a plano-convex section ; and in being solid, or nearly so, instead 
of terete, thin-walled, and fistulose. The flowers also, although forming 
equally large masses with the type, are individually smaller, and 
invariably of a pale dull yellow hue, never lurid ; but there is no 
structural difference, although it must be admitted that at first sight 
the plant appears to differ widely from the type. 

Lepidium oleraceum Forst. ("Cook's scurvy-grass") was found in 
one or two places on the cliffs, associated with Myosotis capitata var. 
albida, a form not infrequent on the cliffs of Stewart Island. 

The only ferns collected were Lomaria dura Moore, Asplenium 
dbtusatvm Forster, and Aspidium aculeatum Swartz, var. vestitum. It 


had long been thought possible that tree-ferns might extend to the 
Snares, but none were observed. The extreme southern limit of tree- 
ferns therefore is the South Cape of Stewart Island, in S. latitude 
47° 2CT, instead of 45° 50', as usually stated in our text-books. 

A few naturalised plants have been introduced by the sealere, 
and four or five indigenous species from the mainland have become 
established in the Snares by the same agency. 

The total number of Phanerogams and Ferns observed in the 
island was under thirty, but my visit was too brief to allow of an 
exhaustive examination being made ; it is not probable that any large 
number of species will be added. 

Mosses are exceptionally rare ; a few Lichens were observed, but 
no Fungi or Hepatica?. No opportunity of collecting Marine Alga? 
was afforded. 

I append a description of the more remarkable species : — 

Ligusticum acutifolium, sp. n. A stout herb 3-5 ft. high, root- 
stock as thick as a man's wrist. Leaves 2 ft. long or more, 6"-9" 
broad, oblong, or ovate-oblong, tripinnate ; segments large, acute ; 
petiole with the upper part of the sheath free, forming a ligule. Stem 
stout, much branched ; flowers not seen. Fruiting umbels 2'-2-|" 
diameter, compound, dense ; carpels ■£$" long, exceeding the pedicels, 
3-5 ribbed. 

Hab. The Snares. 

A handsome species, allied to L. intermedium Hook, f. and L. 
Lyallii Hook, f., but distinguished from the former by the ligulate 
petiole, acute segments, smaller umbels, and shorter fruits ; from the 
latter by the broad segments of the leaves and broad ligulate petiolate 
sheath ; and from both alike by the absence of viscid, milky juice. 
The sheathing bracts are leafy at the tips and unusually large, some- 
times exceeding the flowering branches. 

Aralia Lyallii T. Kirk, var. robusta. — More robust and less hispid 
than the type. Stolons absent. Petioles flat above, convex below, 
solid or nearly so ; teeth more strongly mucronate. Flowers smaller, 
petals shorter, dull yellow. 

Hab. The Snares. 

The typical plant, which is found on Stewart Island and islands in 
Foveaux Strait, has softer and more hairy foliage ; terete, thin-walled, 
fistulose petioles ; lurid, purple flowers ; stout stolons as thick as a 
man's finger, and which are at first erect. No difference is presented 
in the form of the leaves, the curious tubular ligule at the base of the 
petiole, nor in the structure of the fruit. 

Deschampsia gracillima, sp. n. — An erect, tufted, glabrous species. 
Culm very slender, 2 // -5" high ; leaves involute, narrow, almost filiform, 
sheaths slightly inflated ; ligule entire or lacerate. Panicle %"-2" long, 
open ; branches few, capillary ; spikelets few, 2-flowered ; outer glumes 
unequal, 5-nerved ; flowering glumes with a pencil of hairs at the base, 
ovate, truncate, minutely 3-5-toothed, or else with a short dorsal awn 
inserted just below the apex ; paler, minutely ciliated ; rachilla silky ; 
lodicules 3 ; grain free. 


Hab. Carnley Harbour, Auckland Islands, 1,000 ft., T. Kirk. 

The flowering glumes in some instances are deeply and evenly 
toothed, in others the teeth are shallow, or the margin is merely erose. 
The lower flower is sessile within the outer glumes ; the upper is 
carried on a short stipe, which is invariably silky. The grain is very 
large for the size of the flower. 

Descha/nvpsia Hooheri mihi. — Catabrosa antarctica, Hook. f. Fl. 
Antarc. i. 102, t. 56 j FL N. Z. i. 308 • Handbook K Z. Fl. 330 • J. 
Buchanan, Indig. Grasses of N". Z., t. 41. Trioclia, Benth. and Hook. 
f. Gen. PL iii. 1176. 

Mr. N. E. Brown having referred this plant to Deschampsia, Pal., 
in the Kew Herbarium, a new specific name is rendered necessary, the 
one which it bears as a Catabrosa having been appropriated to a Chilian 
species, Aira antarctica Hook, f., which has been removed to Des- 
champsia by M. Desvaux. No name can be more appropriate than 
that of its original discoverer. 

Culms very slender, erect or decumbent, 3"— 18* high. Leaves 
involute, narrow or almost filiform, longer or shorter than the culms ; 
sheaths slightly inflated, grooved; ligule very long and narrow. Panicle 
very slender 2 // -S // long, contracted or effuse ; branches capillary, often 
trichotomous ; spikelets few, pedicillate, glistening, 2-flowered ; outer 
gls. unequal, obscurely 3-nerved ; flowering gl. ovate, truncate, minutely 
toothed or erose, obscurely 5-nerved, with a short awn inserted im- 
mediately beneath the apex or 0, or with the median nerve excurrent ; 
palea equalling the flowering gl. ; rachilla glabrous or silky, often 
reduced to a mere point. Lodicules 3. Anthers very short and broad. 
Grain free. 

a. The larger outer glume equalling the lowest flower ; pedicel of 
upper fl. glabrous or with a few short hairs ; awn present or ; rachilla 
glabrous when present. 

b. The lar-ger outer glume half the length of the lowest flower, 
pedicel of upper flower silky, awn usually present, rachilla silky. 

Hab. Central mountain range of the north and south islands. 
Antipodes island. Auckland Islands. Campbell Island. Sea level to 
5,000 ft. Also in Chili. 

This plant affords an instance of the difficulty attending the 
limitation of the genera of Grasses, on account of the distinctive 
characters being chiefly drawn from organs usually considered to be 
of but secondary importance. In' some states all the spikelets are 
perfectly awnless ; in others the awn is represented by the short, 
excurrent, median nerve of the flowering glume alone, and when 
present is never inserted below the middle of the glume ; all characters 
in which it diverges from the typical form of Deschampsia. In some 
instances the truncate flowering glume is minutely but distinctly 
3-toothed, as in Triodia Br., to which it is referred by the learned 
authors of the Genera Plantarum ; in others it is rather waved at the 
margin than erose, with or without a minute projection of the median 
nerve, and in this state may well be referred to Catabrosa Beauv., in 
which it was originally placed by its discoverer, who evidently observed 
the close general resemblance of the flowers to those of Deschampsia. 


It varies considerably in habit and stature, but in the fruiting 
state the leaves are shorter than the culms, the panicle is usually effuse, 
and the capillary branches rigid. Two forms are easily distinguished by 
the relative lengths of the lowest flower and the largest outer glume, as 
stated above ; the awn is usually situate just below the apex of the 
flowering glume, and sometimes does not project beyond it, or but very 
slightly, when it is liable to be mistaken for a prolongation of the median 
nerve ; in most cases, however, it is well developed and unmistakable, 
but it is rarely situate below the upper third of the glume and never 
below the middle. In some panicles the upper flower is invariably 
awned and the lower awnless ; but the panicles from the same plants 
vary greatly in this respect. Another variable character is found in 
the rachilla, which, in the form with small outer glume, is always 
present and very silky, but is often wanting in the form with a large 
outer glume, and when present is usually glabrous. A similar varia- 
tion is seen in the pedicel of the upper flower, and in the presence 
or absence of a small panicle of silky hairs at the base of either flower. 
The grain is very large for the size of the flower. 

I have for some years past distributed specimens of an elegant 
form of this plant, with an elongated panicle and glumes of a faint 
purplish hue, under the name of Triodia antarctica Benth. and Hook, 
f., var. purpurea ; and Mr. Petrie informs me that he has described a 
similar plant, under the name of Deschampsia Chapmcmii, but I have 
not seen his description. 


Nearly every volume of the Transactions of the New Zealand 
Institute for the past ten or fifteen j r ears has contained descriptions of 
new species of plants, and among these new ferns have been frequently 
included. When the present writer brought out his " Ferns and Fern 
Allies of New Zealand " in 1S82. he felt compelled to reduce many of 
these new species to the rank of mere varieties of already known forms, 
a course which subjected him in certain quarters to considerable 
obloquy. The latest number of the "Annals of Botany" contains the 
first part of a paper* by Mr. J. G. Baker in which all new ferns which 
have been discovered or described since 1874 are summarised. The 
following notes are extracted from this paper and will enable collectors 
of New Zealand ferns to reduce some of their aberrant forms to their 
correct species. — G-. M. T. 

* " A summary of the new Ferns which have been discovered or described since 
1874," by J. G. Baker, F.R.S., Keeper of the Herbarium, Royal Gardens, Kew, 
"Annals of Botany." April, 1891, p. 181. 


Gleichenia, Sm, 

G. circinata, Sw. I cannot specifically separate G. patens. Colenso, 
in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1888, p. 212. 

G. rupestris, R. Br., must evidently be placed as a mere variety of 
. G. circinata. (See also " Ferns and Fern Allies of N.Z." p. 25). 

G. littoralis, Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst.. 1883, p. 334, I cannot 
separate from G. flabellata. 

Cyathea, Sm. 

G. medullaris, Sw. I cannot separate C. polyneur.on, Colenso, in 
Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1878, p, 429. 

G. dealbata, Sw. I cannot separate C. tricolor, Colenso, in Trans, 
N.Z. Inst, xv., p. 304. 

Hemitelia, B. Br. 

H. Smithii, Hook. I cannot separate H. sttikdata, Colenso, in 
Trans. N.Z. Inst. 1885, p. 222. 

Hymenophyllum, Smith. 

H. Armstrongii, Kirk; Baker, in Hook, la, tab. 1614= H. mela- 
otocheilos, Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst, xvii., p. 255, is the 
same as Trichomanes Armstrongii, Baker, Syn. Fil. edit. 2, 
p. 465. 

H. polyanthos, Sw. I cannot separate'^, loplwcarpum, Colenso, in 
Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1884, p. 255. 

H. villosum, Colenso; Kirk, in Trans. N.Z. Inst, x., p. 395. Mid- 
way between polyanthos and demissum, more deltoid in outline 
than the former, with narrower segments and smaller sori. 

H. montanum, Kirk, in Trans. N.Z. Inst, x., p. 394, tab. 21, fig. 
B, Like dwai-f australe, with very jagged indusia. 

H. demissum, Sw. I cannot separate H. ■megalocarjnim, Colenso, 
in Trans. N.Z. Inst, xv., p. 308. 

H. erecto-alatum, Colenso, in Tran. N.Z. Inst., 1878, p. 431. — Not 
seen. Said to come in between dilatatum and pxdclierrimum. 

H. rufescens, Kirk, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1878, p. 457, tab. 19, fig. 

A, I am not sure that this is specifically distinct from 

H. subtilissimum, Kunze. 
H. tunbridgense, Sm. I cannot clearly separate II. pusillum, revo- 

lutum or pygmceum, Colenso, New Zealand ferns described in 

the Transactions of the N.Z. Inst, for 1879-1880. 

Trichomanes, Linn. 

T. venosum, B. Br. I cannot separate T. venustulum, Colenso, in 
Trans. N.Z. Inst, xii., p. 366. 

Dicksonia, L'Herit. 

D.fibroia, ( 'olenso. I cannot separate specifically D. sparmanniana 
Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1879, p. 363, nor D.microcarpa, 


Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1888, p. 214. The Chatham 
Island Dicksonia is said to be intermediate between the Aus- 
tralian antarctica and the New Zealand fibrosa. 

D. squarrosa, Sw. I cannot separate specifically D. gracilis, 
Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1882, p. 306. 


D. Tasmani, Cheesenian ; Field, Ferns of New Zealand, p. 75, tab. 
24, fig. 5. Kermadec Islands, Cheeseman. Near pyxidata 
and canariensis. One of the very few endemic plants of this 
small group of islands. 

Cystopteris, Bernh. 

C.fragilis, Berh. I can only separate as geographical varieties 
G. novae-zealandice, Armstrong, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1880, p. 
360, and the Australian Woodsia lactivirens, Prentice. 

Lindsaya, Dryand. 

L. linearis, Sw. I can only separate as a slight variety L. trilobata, 
Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1883, p. 345. 

L. viridis, Colenso, Fil. Nov. Zeal. 14. Allied to L. microphylla, 
Sw., from which it differs by much closer regularly cuneate 
final segments, and sub-davallioid sori. 

Adiantum, Linn. 

A. diaphanum, Blume — A. heteromoiphum, Colenso, Field, Ferns 
N.Z., p. 80, is a variety, and I cannot separate specifically A. 
folymorphwm and A. tuberosum, Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 
1888, p. 215-217. 

A. ajjine, Willd., var. intermedium, Benth., Fl. Austral, vii., p. 725, 
Queensland and New South Wales, differs from the N.Z. type 
by its transversely oblong sori ; var. chathamicum, Field, 
Ferns N.Z., p. 81, Chatham Island, is less compound than the 
type, with longer final segments. See also var. heterophyllum, 
Colenso, in Trans, N.Z. Inst., 1888, p. 218. 

Cheilanthes, Sw. 

C. tenuifolia, Sw. It seems impossible to draw any definite line of 
demarcation between tenuifolia and Sieberi. I cannot separate 
specifically C. Kirkii, Armst., in Trans. N.Z. Inst,, 1880, p. 

36, non Hook., (and) Pteris alpina, Field, Ferns of N.Z. 

p. 97, tab. 98, fig. 3. 

Pteris, Linn. 

P. cretica, L I cannot specifically separate the N.Z. I\ loma- 

rioides, Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1880. p. 380 ; Field, 
Ferns of N.Z , p. 91, tab 25, fig. 4. 

P. macilenta, A. Cunn. I cannot separate specifically P. pendula, 
Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1888, p. 218. 


Lomaria, Willd. 

L. vulcanica, Blurne. I cannot separate specifically L. paucy'uga, 
Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1888, p. 222. 

L. lanceolata, Spreng. I cannot separate specifically L. aggregate, 
Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1888, p. 223; Field, Ferns 
N.Z., p. 103, tab. 29, fig. 7. 

L. parvifolia, Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst. 1888, p. 224. Exactly 
matches our type specimen of L. pumila, Raoul, which can 
scai'cely be regarded as more than a variety of L. alpina. See 
Field, Ferns N.Z., p. 106. 

L. membranaoea, Colenso. I cannot separate specifically L. oligo- 
neuron, Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 1883, p. 346. 

DoODlA, Pv. Br. 

D. caudata, R. Br. I cannot separate specifically D. squarrosa, 
Colenso, in Trans. N.Z. Inst,, 1880, p. 332. 

(To be continued.) 


Removing Tassels from Corn. — Experiments with strawberries 
made at the Ohio Experiment Station indicate that pollen-bearing is 
an exhaustive process, and that larger yields of fruit, as a rule, may 
be expected from those varieties which produce pollen so sparingly 
that a small proportion of other varieties producing pollen abundantly 
must be planted with them in order to insure a full crop, than from 
those which produce sufficient pollen for self-fertilization. 

The following very interesting and valuable experiment on corn, 
made by the experiment station of Cornell University, at Ithaca, N.Y., 
gives strong support to this theory. 

It has been claimed that if the tassels were removed from corn 
before they have produced pollen, the strength thus saved to the 
plant would be turned to the ovaries, and a larger amount of grain be 
produced. To test the effect of this theory, the following trial was 
made during the past season. 

In the general cornfield a plot of forty- eight rows, Avith forty-two 
hills in each row, was selected for the experiment. From each alter- 
nate row the tassels were removed as soon as they appeared, and 
before any pollen had fallen. The remaining rows were left undis- 
turbed. The corn was Sibley's Pride of the North, planted the last 
week in May in hills three feet six inches by three feet eight inches, 
on dry, gravelly, moderately fertile soil. 

On July 21 the earliest tassels began to make their appearance 
in the folds of the upper leaves, and were removed as soon as they 



could be seen, and before they were fully developed. A slight pull 
was sufficient to break the stalk just below the tassel, and the removal 
was easy and rapid. 

On July 25 the plot was gone over again for the removal of such 
tassels as had appeared since the previous work, and at this time by 
far the greatest number of the tassels were removed. 

On July 28, when the plot was gone over for the third time, the 
effects of the tasselling became apparent in the increased number of 
silks that were visible on the rows from which the tassels had been 

On the 1,008 tasselled hills there were visible 591 silks; on the 
1,008 untasselled, 393 silks. 

On Aug. 4 the plot was gone over for the last time, but only a 
few tassels were found on the very latest stalks. The preponderance 
of visible silk on the tasselled rows was still manifest, there being at 
this time 3,542 silks visible on the tasselled rows, and but 2,044 on 
the untasselled rows. The corn was allowed to stand without cutting 
until ripe. 

Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 the rows were cut and husked, and the stalks 
and ears weighed and counted, with the following results : — 





J2 -• 

'Jl r C! 

V2 ^ 

£ > 

% > 

M o 

f2 8 


03 g 



Eh o 



Number of good ears 





Number of poor ears 





Number of abortive ears 





Total number of ears 





Weight of merchantable corn (pounds) 





Weight of poor corn (pounds 





Number of stalks 





100 stalks weighed (pounds) 





It will thus be seen that the number of good ears and the weight 
of merchantable corn were both a little more than fifty per cent, 
greater on the rows from which the tassels were removed than upon 
those upon which the tassels Avere left. This is not only true of the 
two sets of rows as a whole, but with the individual rows as well. In 
no case did a row upon which the tassels were left produce anywhere 
near as much as the tasselled rows on either side of it. In fact, the 
results given above are really the aggregate results of twenty-four 
distinct duplicate experiments, each of which alone showed the same 
thing as the aggregate of all. 

By abortive ears is meant those sets that made only a bunch of 
husks, and sometimes a small cob, but no grain. It will be noticed 
that the total of the good, poor, and abortive ears is about fourteen 
per cent, greater on the rows on which the tassels were left, while the 
weight of merchantable corn is more than fifty per cent, greater on 
those rows from which the tassels were removed. — Science, March 
27th, 1891, p. 171. 


The Souring of Milk during Thunder-storms.*- -In Science of 
Sept. 19, 1890, appeared a short note on some work recently clone in 
Italy by Professor Tolomei on the souring of milk during thunder- 
storms. Professor Tolomei concludes that there is a sufficient amount 
of ozone generated at such times to coagulate milk by a process of 
direct oxidation, and a consequent production of lactic acid.t 

Similar results have been obtained by other experimenters, and 
some have even gone so far as to say that free oxygen, when in 
contact with milk, will generate enough lactic acid to coagulate its 

These results are very different from some obtained in this labora- 
tory. While working on the bacteria in milk the idea occurred to us 
to find out, if possible, the truth of the somewhat widely accepted 
theory that milk will sour with extreme rapidity during thunder- 
storms. Although the statement that this is an oxidising action had 
been frequently made, a Mr. lies of Baltimore was the first, so far as I 
know, to perform any experiments in this direction.^ His method 
was to subject milk to the action of ozone, generated by an electric 
spark passed through oxygen, above the milk. He found a rapid 
coagulation produced, which he attributed to the direct oxidising 
action of the ozone. 

Our method was similar to that of Mr. Iles's. A Wolff bottle 
was filled about one-third full of milk, and the air in the bottle 
displaced by pure oxygen. Through the opposite necks wires leading 
from a Holtz induction machine were passed into the interior, and the 
necks plugged tightly with cotton to prevent any escape of oxygen ; 
ozone was then generated by passing a spark across through the 
oxygen from one pole to the other. In some cases, instead of the 
spark, a " silent discharge " of electricity from the two poles was used 
to generate ozone. 

In all cases a second bottle was partially filled with milk, and 
kept as a "control;" i.e., one in which the milk is left in its normal 

For some of our experiments three bottles were used,- one left 
as a control ; a second filled with milk and oxygen ; while a third was 
filled, like the second, with milk and oxygen, and then treated with 
the electricity. We thus had milk under three conditions: 1. In its 
normal state ; 2. Under the influence of free oxygen ; 3. Under the 
influence of free oxygen plus a certain amount of ozone. The elec- 
tricity, in all cases, was passed through the oxygen for at least half 
an hour. That a considerable quantity of ozone was generated, was 
shown by its odor, and strong action on starch-iodine paper. Our 
results were very different from those given by lies and Tolomei. 
The milk treated with ozone, or simply pure oxygen, soured a little, 
but only a little, faster than normal milk. If the milk in the control 
coagulated in thirty-six hours, the milk experimented on coagulated 
only an hour or two earlier. 

Science, March, 27th, 1891, p. 178. 
T A more extended account of Professor Tolomei's experiments is given in Bicder- 
manri'a Central-Elatt fiir Agriadturchemic, 1890, p. 538. 

X Chemical News, vol. xxxvi. p. 237. 


This result was very constant. In a considerable number of 
experiments, using milk of all degrees of sweetness, from that just 
from the cow to that a day or more old, the same result followed, — a 
slight hastening of the time of coagulation in milk treated with ozone 
or oxygen. Between the time of coagulation of milk treated simply 
with oxygen, and that treated with oxygen plus ozone, no perceptible 
difference could be noticed. 

We had, then, in our experiments, produced a slight hastening 
of the time of coagulation. Was this a direct oxidation ? From the 
fact that it required over a day to act, it seemed likely that it could 
not be. If, however, it were an oxidation, it ought to act as well on 
sterilized milk — i.e, milk in which all bacteria have been killed by 
heat — as on ordinary milk. We therefore, before introducing the 
oxygen, sterilized the milk. In this case no coagulation occurred. 
Milk that had been treated at two separate times, a week apart, with 
oxygen and ozone, was kept for over two months without the 
appearance of the least sign of coagulation. 

Briefly summed up, then, our results were as follows: — 

1. Milk, under the influence of oxygen, or oxygen and ozone, 
coagulates somewhat earlier than when left in its normal condition. 

2. This action does not take place if the milk has been sterilized, 
and is kept from contact with unfiltered air. 

3. It is probably, therefore, not an oxidation. The conclusion 
drawn from this is that the souring was simply produced by an 
unusually rapid growth of bacteria. The bacteria of milk are mostly 
aerobic, and would undoubtedly be stimulated to rapid growth by free 
oxygen or ozone. 

If in a thunderstorm ozone is set free, as some observers claim, 
its action on bacteria would perhaps explain the effects produced at 
such times. I am inclined to think, however, that a more probable 
reason is to be found in the general conditions of the atmosphere 
preceding and during the storm. It has been found in our laboratory 
that bacteria growing on gelatine will multiply with unusual rapidity 
during warm, sultry weather. Now, these are the atmospheric con- 
ditions that usually precede and accompany thunder-storms. It 
seems to me most likely, therefore, that whatever rapid souring occurs 
is due to an unusually rapid growth of bacteria, caused by especially 
favourable conditions of the atmosphere. 

The experience of the proprietor of a neighbouring creamery 
confirms to a certain extent these conclusions. He finds, that, if milk 
is kept at a uniformly low temperature during the thunder-storm 
season, no trouble results from rapid souring, indicating that this 
souring, when it occurs, is due more to a high temperature and sultry 
atmosphere than to the ozone in the air. If this were a process of 
direct oxidation, it should take place, partially at least, at the lower 

Professor Tolomei finds, also, that a slight electric current, if 
less than three amperes, will have a preservative effect on milk, the 
current being passed directly through the liquid. A current greater 
than three amperes will decompose the milk. 


In our experiments, a current of less than one-fortieth of an 
ampere was sufficient to produce decomposition, with a certain amount 
of coagulation at each electrode. A stronger current would produce 
complete coagulation, with the somewhat curious result that the 
coagulum was strongly acid at the .'positive pole, and more feebly 
alkaline at the negative pole. 

Aaron L. Treadwell. 
Wesleyan University, 

Middletown, Conn., March 20. 

In a paper "On some aspects of Acclimatisation in New Zealand," 
read before the Australasian Association at its Christchurch meeting 
by Mr. G-. M. Thomson, the following remarkable case of hereditary 
transmission of an apparently defective characteristic was described 
as follows : — " In the district of Strath Taieri, in Otago, some years 
ago, certain sheep on one of the runs — probably the progeny of a 
single ram, were found to be evidently short-winded. Apparently the 
action of the heart was defective, for when these sheep were driven, 
they would run with the rest of the flock for a short distance and then 
lie down panting. The result of this peculiar affection was that at 
nearly every mustering these short-winded sheep used to be left 
behind, being unable to be driven with the rest. Sometimes they 
were brought on more slowly afterwards, but if it happened to be 
shearing time they were simply caught and shorn where they lay. 
As a result of this peculiar condition a form of artificial selection was 
set up, the vigorous sheep being constantly drafted away for sale, &c, 
while this defective strain increased with great rapidity throughout 
the district, for whenever the mobs were mustered for the market, 
shearing, or drafting, these 'cranky' sheep (as they came to be called) 
were left behind. This defective character appeared in every succeed- 
ing generation, and seemed to increase in force, reminding cne of the 
Ancon sheep referred to by Darwin. At first, of course, the character 
was not recognised as ' hereditary,' but as the members of this cranky 
breed increased to a very serious extent and spread over the district, 
it came at last to be recognised as a local variety. When the runs, 
on which these sheep were abundant, were cut up and sold or re- 
leased in smaller areas a few years ago, the purchasers found it 
necessary for the protection of their own interests to exterminate the 
variety, of which hundreds were found straggling over the country. 
This was easily and effectually done in the following manner : — As 
soon as a sheep was observed it was pursued, but after running for a 
couple of hundred yards at a great rate of speed, it would drop down 
panting behind a big stone or other shelter, and seemed incapable for 
a time of rising and renewing its flight. It was immediately des- 
troyed, and in this manner a useless — but to the naturalist a very 
interesting variety, was eliminated." 

Auckland Institute. — From the annual report of this Society, 
adopted on 16th February, we learn that the following gentlemen 
have been elected officers for the present season : — President : Prof. 
F. D. Brown, F.O.S. ; Vice-Presidents : Messrs. J. Stewart, C.E., and 


J. Martin, F.R.G.S. ; Council : Revs. J. Bates and J. Campbell, Prof. 
A. P. Thomas, F.L.S., Messrs. W. Berry, C. Cooper, T. Humphries, 
E. A. Mackechnie, T. Peacock, J. A. Pond, F.C.S., A. G. Purchas, 
M.R.C.S., and E. Withy ; Secretary and Treasurer : T. F. Cheeseman, 
Esq., F.L.S., F.Z.S. The membership of the Institute shows a slight 
decrease, 205 names being on the roll. The income of the Society for 
the past year, exclusive of a balance in hand at the commencement of 
the year of £204 14s. 6d., was £861 14s. 3d., and the expenditure 
amounted to £987 8s. 9d. This excess of expenditure reduced the 
balance in the Bank of New Zealand to £79. The Museum has 
received several important additions during the year, including a col- 
lection of animals from Borneo and a number of Maori ethnological 
specimens. Captain Gilbert Mair has also deposited in the Museum 
his Maori collection, which is one of the most complete in the colony. 
The attendance of the public on each Sunday has averaged 173, on 
week days it is estimated at about 70. Of the 22 papers read before 
the Institute during last Session, a number contain valuable additions 
to the scientific knowledge of the colony. 

Theory of the Structure of the Placenta. — In the " Ana- 
tomischer Anzeiger" of 11th March, Prof. Minot of Harvard Medical 
School has an article under the above heading, in which he sum- 
marises the results of his own researches and those of others as 
follows (p. 130) : — According to the views explained in the preceding 
pages, I hold the placenta to be an organ of the chorion ; that 
primitively the chorion had its own circulation, and formed the 
discoidal placenta by developing villi which grew down into the 
degenerating uterine mucosa ; by the degeneration of the maternal 
tissues the maternal blood is brought closer to the villi, and the 
degeneration may go so far that all the tissue of the uterus between 
the villi disappears ; a layer of the mucosa is preserved between the 
ends of the villi and the niuscularis uteri to form the so called 
decidua ; the placenta receives its foetal blood by the means of large 
vessels running in the mesoderm of the allantois. From this discoidal 
chorionic placenta the zonary placenta of carnivora, the diffuse 
placenta of the lower primates, and the metadiscoidal placenta of 
man have been evolved. 

" A second type of placenta, perhaps evolved from the first is 
found in ungulates, and is characterised by a vascular allantoic vesicle 
uniting with a non vascular chorion to form the foetal placenta, and 
by the absence of degeneration in the maternal tissue. This type is 
the allantoic placenta, which offers many interesting modifications." 

Humble-bees in the North Island. — In his letter of May 25th, 
the Waikato correspondent of the Auckland Star says : " The humble- 
bees that I send you down were caught on Richmond Downs estate, 
at Walton, Thames Valley. I could have caught a good many more, 
but thought it best to send three only, as I am not sure that they 
will stand the journey well, I having no proper boxes to put them in. 
Judging by the numbers I have seen lately, I am convinced that they 
are now thoroughly established, and that this district could supply 


others which require them in any number. It was at Richmond that 
I heard of them first having been seen two years ago, and at that 
time it was very much doubted if it was a fact, but it is now a 
certainty. They are to be seen now on flowers, and in numbers on 
the Scotch thistle heads, which are yet fresh, and also on the hakea 
hedges, which flower at this season of the year. Tf the introduction 
of this bee means, as they say it does, the inoculation of the clover 
seeds, they are indeed valuable. What an immense saving it would 
be could we grow our own clovers. I should say, roughly speaking, 
that not less than £6,000 to £8,000 has been spent in this Thames 
Valley alone on clover seeds during the past season or two. And 
clover grows so well here, too, that large yields might be looked for." 

T. W. Kirk, F.L.S — We regret very much to hear that in their 
zeal for retrenching the Civil Service, Ministers have cut down the 
staff of the Colonial Museum, dispensing with Mr. Kirk's services. 
The circumstances connected with his retirement almost justify the 
use of the term "brutal," which is used by one correspondent in 
reference to this retrenchment. Mr. Kirk has been for many years 
connected with the Colonial Museum, has taken an active part in the 
establishment and carrying on of the Wellington Field Naturalists' 
Club, and has from time to time published papers on various bio- 
logical subjects. We shall be glad to hear that he has been able to 
obtain occupation whereby his scientific acquirements will not be lost 
to this colony. 



Dunedin, June 9th, 1891.— Professor F. B. de M. Gibbons, M.A., 
President, in the chair. 

New Members. — Messrs. T. G. Brickell and D. Wilkinson. 

Papers. — (1) "On a disease which has attacked the American 
Brook Trout (Salmo fontinalis) in the Acclimatisation Society's ponds," 
by Professor J. H. Scott, M.D. Dr. Scott stated that he found a 
structure which corresponded closely with what in mammals was called 
cancer. It was a fatal and malignant spreading tumour in the throat 
of the fish, and it seemed to be confined to the American brook trout, 
though Mr. Deans, the Acclimatisation Society's curator, informed him 
that a similar disease had attacked the Rhine trout in the ponds at 
Masterton, Wairarapa. Dr. Hocken inquired whether Dr. Scott con- 
sidered the disease was the same as affected the trout in Lake Wakatipu 
some years ago — a disease which compelled the trout to come to the 
surface of the water and which was not confined to a spot under the 
lower jaw but extended forward and enveloped both jaws in a large 
mass. Professor Parker said that if he was not mistaken, the disease 


in the case mentioned by Dr. Hocken was caused by fungus and was 
similar to the sand disease, which Avas well known in Europe, and Mr. 
F. R. Chapman remarked that about two years ago the native fish, the 
inanga, in Lake Wakatipu, were found in the condition referred to by 
Dr. Hocken, presenting a fluffy, feathery appearance on the under side. 
Mr. A. Hamilton desired to know if the disease in the American brook 
trout was likely to be induced or accelerated by the artificial food 
supplied to the fish, and also whether it was likely to detrimentally 
affect the eating properties of the fish. In reply to this Dr. Scott said 
that the causation of cancer was a thing about which there was still a 
great deal to be learned, and while he thought there was no doubt that 
the fish were injured from an eating point of view, he did not consider 
there was the least danger of cancer being obtained from them, because 
he did not think cancer was inoculable at all. 

(2) "Note on the Structure of the Mammalian ovum," by Professor 
Parker, F.R.S. "Sections of the ovary of a kitten recently prepared for 
my practical class exhibited the unusual character of a number (6 or 8) 
of nuclear bodies in the vitellus. Each is globular, about y-g-y mm. in 
diameter, and consists of a cortical and a medullary substance taking on 
slightly different tints with borax-carmine. They are apparently ger- 
minal spots which have passed from the germinal vesicle into the 
vitellus, a phenomenon which seems to have been described by His in 
fishes, and by Baltiani, Pol, Roule and Sabatier in Myriapods and 
Ascidians, but as far as I have been able to ascertain has not previously 
been observed in Mammals. (See Leydig, Zool. Anzeiger, vol. x, 1887, 
p. 626). The germinal vesicle contains, as usual, a single germinal 

(3) " On "Volcanic appearances in Dowling Street, Dunedin," by 
L. O. Beal. 

(4) "On Dactylanthus taylori," by A. Hamilton. "In the first 
volume of this Magazine I recorded the finding of a plant of Dacty- 
lanthus at Tarawera, about halfway between Napier and Lake Taupo, 
on the Great North Road. Since then I have found more or less perfect 
specimens in that immediate neighbourhood, and sent good examples of 
male and female flowers to Kew, preserved in spirits, for a more detailed 
examination than was possible in the original pressed type specimens 
forwarded so long ago by the Rev. Richard Taylor. Through the kind- 
ness of a friend of mine, Mr. K. Newton, of Napier, I am enabled to 
add another locality for this interesting root parasite. During a survey 
of the country at the back of Nuhaka, a native settlement, between 
Wairoa and the Napier Peninsula, Hawkes Bay, Mr. Newton collected 
two female flowering bracts and brought them to Napier. He has since 
forwarded to me the large tuberous portion of the plant, but I regret 
that in the packing or during the journey all the shoots have been 
rubbed or broken off. The inconspicuous character of the plant, its 
aj)parent scarceness, and its probable extinction in the near future, 
must be my excuse for sending you this note." 

Mr. Hamilton added — " On this block of country, which has only 
just been surveyed, there is a warm mineral spring, and the water 
from it has been analysed at the Colonial Laboratory, as follows : — 


" a. This is a clear, colourless, and highly saline water containing 
1723 grains of fixed salt per gallon, only 22 grains of which 
is silica. The remaining portion is principally composed of 
alkaline chlorides, with a fair proportion of alkaline carbonates. 
It is rich in iodine. 

" b. This water contains 216 grains of fixed salts per gallon, and 
these are almost entirely composed of alkaline chlorides. It 
is feebly alkaline and contains distinct traces of iodine. 

"From these results it appears that both samples belong to the group 
known as the ' alkaline chlorinated ' waters. The sample a should, 
when tried, prove to be a valuable mineral water, and resembles that of 
Wiesbaden, also that of Harrogate and Cheltenham, but is much more 
highly charged with salts than they are, the specific gravity being that 
of genuine sea water. 

"These springs may be of public use and interest in the future. 
The Government reserved an area of 1,200 acres around them as a hot 
spring area. The springs flow into the Nuhaka river about 10 miles 
from the mouth." 

Professor Parker exhibited a series of specimens of Ileodictyon 
cibarium — a fungus found in the bush near Dunedin — mounted in 
alcohol for demonstration purposes, viz. : — 

1. The entire immature fungus. 

2. The same in section, showing the thick brownish Avail or peri- 

dium, the white net-like receptaculum, and the blackish gleba 
or spore-forming tissue. 

3. A similar preparation with the gleba removed to show the 


4. The fungus at the period of dehiscence showing the receptaculum 

escaping from the ruptured peridium. 

5. The liberated and fully expanded receptaculum. 

Professor Parker also drew attention to some Tasmanian Sponges 
presented to the Museum. 

Mr. F. R. Chapman exhibited two cards of Maori bone implements, 
comprising fish-hooks, shawl-pins, neck ornaments, and ear pendants. 


Christchurch, 4th June, 1891. — 

Papers.— (1) "On the Foliated rocks of Otago," by Professor F. W. 
Hutton, F.G.S. The foliated rocks of Otago are found in two districts 
separated from each other by a band of sandstones and slates, about 
eight miles broad at its narrowest, which belong to the Maitai or 
Carbonifei'ous System. 

(1) Northern Otago. 

The rocks of central and north-eastern Otago are mica-schists and 
phyllites, which have been thought to be the altered equivalents of the 
fbssiliferous Silurian and Ordovician rocks of north-western Nelson. 


The reason for this opinion was, that it was supposed that the two sets 
of rocks, in the north and in the south, could be traced continuously, 
and that one could be proved to pass into the other. But in 1887 the 
author found that the two tracts were not continuous, but were sepa- 
rated along the line of the Buller River by a band of Maitai slates and 
granite,* thus destroying the only evidence for their correlation. In 
the present paper the author shows that the schists of Northern Otago 
are metarnorphic rock, but that the metamorphism has been caused 
neither by crushing nor by contact with masses of igneous rocks, but is 
due to their having been deposited in the Archaean Era, when the earth 
was much hotter than now. They are therefore older than the 
Silurians and Ordovicians of Nelson. 

(2) Western Otago. 

The foliated rocks of the West Coast Sounds, from Milford to 
Dusky, have been generally regarded as consisting principally of typical 
gneisses of Archaean age, and as passing below the mica-schists of 
Northern Otago. The author however finds, from an examination of 
rocks collected during the excursion of the Australasian Association to 
the Sounds, that these rocks are all Schistose Diorites of eruptive origin 
associated with other Diorites and Gabbros. In the paper the rocks are 
considered as Hornblende Diorites, but it is probable that they were 
originally Augite Diorites. The following rocks are described : — Mica 
Diorite, Hornblende Diorite, Enstatite Diorite, and Enstatite Gabbro. 

The absence of contortion and the almost universal westerly dip of 
the foliation planes are strong ^evidence that these rocks are not 
Archaean. On their flanks there is found in places a series of sedi- 
mentary rocks altered by contact, which Sir James Hector considers to 
be probably Devonian. If this be so the eruptive Diorites must be 
younger than Devonian and may be connected with the Greenstone-tuffs 
of the Route Burn and Greenstone River west of Lake Wakatipu. 

(2) " On a Specimen of Regalecus from O'Kain's Bay," by H. O. 
Forbes, A.L.S., F.G.S., &c, (see p. 154.) 


Auckland, June 8th, 1891. — Professor F. D. Brown, President, in 
the chair. 

New Members. — Messrs. T. Allen, Auckland; E. S. Brookes, jun., 
Wharehine ; Rev. H. S. Davies, Lake Takapuna ; W. G. Rathbone, 
Auckland ; and Dr. T. O. Williams, Thames. 

The Secretary announced an extensive list of donations to the 
Museum and Library. 

The President delivered the annual address. 

After dealing with the subject of reading of scientific papers at 
their meetings, which he considered to be a survival from those times 
when literary work was chiefly conveyed orally, he then dealt with the 
great value of the Museum to the city, laying particular stress on the 
importance of extending the popular branch of the collections, and of 

* " On the Geology of the Country about Lyttelton."— Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 22, p. 387 


arranging and displaying them in the most interesting, instructive, and 
attractive manner possible. All this required space, and space could 
only be obtained by subdividing the collections and placing a large por- 
tion of them in another building. What was, in his opinion, absolutely 
necessary if they were to make any further advance, was the erection of 
an additional hall in which they could place their ethnological collections 
and, especially, their specimens of Maori workmanship. While speaking 
of those Maori collections, he parenthetically mentioned the magnificent 
collection deposited by Captain Gilbert Mair, and took the opportunity 
of tendering to that gentleman the thanks of the Institute and of the 
community. The Professor then went on to argue that no grand, 
ornamental, permanent edifice was required, but one in which attention 
was paid to the necessity for elasticity in the accommodation, for facility 
of modification, so that additions and re-arrangements could be effected 
without restriction. His experience with the University College had 
impressed him with the superiority of temporary buildings for young 
and growing institutions, because the expenditure of small sums from 
time to time had resulted in the gradual adaptation of means to ends. 
Of course, it was absolutely necessary that their collections should be 
preserved, that the structure should be strong and fireproof. He found, 
on the authority of his friend Mr. Bartley, that a building 1 03 feet long 
and 50 feet wide could be erected on that particular site for £610. The 
cost of fitting it up would be about £400, and the re-arrangement of the 
exhibits now in the Museum would take about £200 more. This 
would be £1200 in all, a sum well within their means. They had 
recently received by the sale of a block of land on the Coromandel 
peninsula a sum of £1000, with an agreement to pay two other 
thousands at intervals of a year. This sum they did not actually need 
for the maintenance of the Museum, as last year they had not only paid 
all ordinary fixed expenses, but had spent £50 in providing cases and 
otherwise improving the interior of the building. Thus they were well 
able to afford the cost of a modest but substantial building, and he 
trusted that ere long they would be able to place before the public such 
a well-ordered and complete collection of Maori workmanship as befitted 
Auckland, as befitted a city the history of which was so intermingled 
with that of the natives. 


Sydney, April 29th, 1891.— Professor Haswell, M.A., D.Sc, 
President, in the chair. 

New Member.— Mr. C. Hedley, F.L.S. 

Papers. — (1) "On the Occurrence of Barite (Barytes) in the 
Hawkesbury Sandstone near Sydney," by H. G. Smith, Laboratory 
Assistant, Technological Museum, Sydney. (Communicated by J. H. 
Maiden). Few localities are recorded in which this mineral occurs in 
sandstone ; and no mention of its having been previously recognised in 
the Hawkesbury sandstones has been met with. It is usually found 
associated with metallic ores, but is not so in this instance. The purity, 
transparency, and brilliancy of the smaller crystals, together with their 
location, gives special interest to the occurrence of the specimens herein 


(2) " On the Occurrence of a Gum in Echinocavpus (Sloanea) 
australis, Bentb," hj J. H. Maiden, F.L.S., F.C.S. The characters and 
composition of a gum which has not been previously recorded from this 
species, are described. 

(3) " Notes on Australian Economic Botany. No. ii," by J. H. 
Maiden, F.L.S., F.C.S. In this paper brief descriptions are given of 
some indigenous foods and food-adjuncts, stock-poisons, essential oils and 
timbers, either imperfectly known or not previously described. 

(i) "Iii Confirmation of the genus Owenia, so-called," by C. W. 
De Vis, M.A. The recent acquisition of the greater part of a fairly 
sound mandible enables the author both to characterise a second species 
of the genus for which the name Owenia was originally proposed as a 
slight but appropriate tribute of appreciation of the labours of the illus- 
trious exponent of our extinct marsupials — though the author himself 
at the lime was aware of its preoccupancy among the invertebrates, — 
and to maintain the validity of the genus, a matter which has been 
called in question. Accordingly to prevent further complications the 
name Owenia is withdrawn in favour of Euowenia. The paper con- 
cludes with a synopsis of the genera of the Nototheriidae, in the sense 
in which the author would prefer to use that term (to include Notothe- 
rium, Diprotodon, Euoioenia, Zygomaturus, and probably Sthenomerus) 
in place of Mr. Lydekker's two families Nototheriidae and Diprotontidce. 

(5) " Onyx and Bipeltis : new Nematode genera ; with a Note on 
Dorylaimus" by N. A. Cobb. 


Mr. Maiden exhibited a number of vegetable products — fruits, 
seeds, gums, essential oils, and timbers — in illustration of his papers. 
Also specimens of a number of interesting indigenous (N.S.W.) plants 
including Palmeria scandens, F. v.M., from Bulli; Oallicarpa peduncu- 
lated, B.Br., and Alchomea ilicifolia, F.v.M., from the Bichmond Biver ; 
Telopea oreades, F.v.M., and Persoonia chanu^euce, Lh., from the 
southern portion of the colony. 

Mr. T. W. Edgeworth David exhibited, on behalf of Mr. J. E. 
Carne, F.G.S., Mineralogist to the Department of Mines, Sydney, a 
specimen of precious opal from the White Cliffs about fifty miles 
northerly from Wilcannia. Precious opal and common opal have lately 
been discovered in this locality in a formation corresponding to the 
Desert Sandstone of Queensland. The opal occurs disseminated as an 
infiltrated cement throughout the mass of the sandstone in places, and 
also replacing the calcareous material of fossils. It also occurs in cracks 
in the sandstone and in fossil wood, which is somewhat plentifully 
distributed throughout the sandstone, and occasionally replaces part of 
the original woody tissues of the silicifisd trees. 

Mr. A. Sidney Oliff stated that he had recently had an opportunity 
of examining a collection of Coccinellida gathered by Mr. A. M. Lea, 
among which he had found specimens of the lady -bird, Vedalia cardi- 
nalis, obtained at Mossman's Bay, near Sydney. This capture is inte- 
resting from the fact that the species has not previously been observed 


by our local collectors. Mr. Olliff also showed, under the microscope, 
specimens of the larvae and females of Phylloxera vastatrix, the vine 
pest ; and he remarked that, so far, he had not yet been able to find 
either specimens of the leaf-form of the pest, or reliable records of its 
having been observed in New South Wales. 

Mr. Whitelegge exhibited a set of herbarium specimens of British 
species of the genus Equisetum. Also, under the microscope, specimens 
of the Peridinium, to the presence of which the recent discolouration of 
the waters of the harbour has been due : also specimens of several other 
species of allied organisms, including a second species of Peridinium, 
Prorocentrum micans, Ehr.. Gymnodinium spirale, Bergh, and Gleno- 
dinhim sp. 

Dr. Cobb exhibited an inexpensive dissecting microscope of simple 
construction, made by one of the clerks in the Agricultural Department, 
Sydney. Also, under the microscope, examples of the Nematodes 
described in his paper. Also, two examples of fungi, one a species of 
Phallus from the adjoining garden, the other the bird's-nest fungus, 
Cyathus, from soil near a pumpkin vine ; and coloured dra wings of a 
number of other Australian fungi which he had recently met with. 

Mr. Fletcher exhibited three specimens of terrestrial Nemertines 
(Geonemertes sp.) — one from the Bichmond Biver, N.S.W. (collected by 
Mr. B. Helms), the other from Tasmania (collected by Mr. C. Hedley). 
The Tasmanian form seems to differ in colour and pattern from the 
"Victorian specimens recorded by Dr. Dendy and Professor Spencer, Mr. 
Hedley describing them while alive as "black at the oral extremity for 
about a quarter of an inch, the rest of the body dull white." The New 
South Wales specimen may, perhaps, belong to the same species as those 
noted by Dendy, the colour being brownish-orange, except for a lateral 
band on each side. If G. chalicophora, Graff, like G. jxdaensis, Semper, 
has six eyespots, in two groups of three each, then the specimens exhi- 
bited to-night, in which more than sis eyespots are present, are not to 
be identified with the former, which is supposed to have been brought 
with palms from Australia to the palmhouse at Frankfurt Zoological 

Also, a male specimen of Peripatus leuckarti, Sang., (the only male 
out of a total of five specimens obtained on. the Blue Mountains), which 
presents the exceptionally remarkable character of possessing a pair of 
papillae — the only pair present. — on the ventral surface of the first pair 
of legs. 

Also, fruits of Secliium edide, Swartz, a West Indian member of 
the natural order Cucurhitacece, which has been successfully acclimatised 
in Queensland for some years past. From a specimen forwarded from 
Queensland to Sir William Macleay a flourishing plant has been raised, 
which is now bearing freely in Sir William's garden, the specimen 
exhibited being from the plant in question. 

Also, a living specimen of Chiroleptes australis, Gray, forwarded 
from Herberton, Queensland, by Mr. F., Christian. This species of frog 
inhabits the northern half of the continent, and has not been recorded 
on the east coast from further south than the Clarence Biver. 


Sydney, May 27th, 1891.-— Professor" Haswell, M.A., D.Sc, Presi- 
dent, in the chair. 

Mr. A. Meston of Queensland was introduced as a visitor. 

New members. — Mr. Fred Turner, F.R.H.S., Department of 
Agriculture, Sydney, The Eight Rev. Dr. Camidge, Bishop of Bathurst, 
N.S.W., The Rev. J. G. Buggy, Kempsey, N.S.W., and Mr. C. A. 
Chesney, C.E., Randwick. 

The Chairman called the attention of the meeting to a circular, 
copies of which were laid on the table, recently received from the 
Department of Agriculture of N.S.W., offering national prizes among 
other things for the best Australian Pathological, Entomological, and 
Botanical collections submitted to the Department. 

Papers. — (1) "A Contribution to the Geology and Petrography of 
Bathurst, KS.W.," by Rev. J. Milne Curran, F.G.S. This paper deals 
with the geology and lithology of the country immediately around 
Bathurst. The formations described are silurian, pliocene, and recent. 
The igneous rocks represented are granites and tertiary basalts. No 
vestige of the old floor on which the silurian sediments were laid down 
remains. A microscopic examination of the granites and basalts 
reveals some interesting structures. The granite is a hornblende 
granite, with orthoclase and triclinic felspars. The basalt is seen, 
under the microscope, to be an olivine basalt, with a microporphyritic 
granular structure. The basalts show a streaming of the felspars round 
the porphyritic augites and olivines. The following were amongst the 
conclusions arrived at : That the granites of Bathurst are surrounded 
by an aureole of metamorphic rocks. There is no gradation from a 
clastic to a holo-crystalline rock. The granite is intrusive as regards 
the surrounding slates. The slates are the oldest rock in the district, 
granites coming next in order of time. The conclusion that the granites 
were intrusive was not necessarily opposed to the view that the granites 
may have been formed, as a whole, by a partial fusion of pre-existing 

(2) " Remarks on Post-tertiary Phascolomyidce," by C. W. De Vis, 
M.A., Corr. Mem. In this paper the author adduces weighty evidence, 
based on the phascolomine peculiarities of their respective contents, in 
favour of the conclusion that the ossiferous deposits of the Darling 
Downs and of the Wellington Caves are not upon the same palseon- 
tological horizon, the cave wombats, Phascolomys latifrons, P. Icrefftii, 
and P. curvirostris, not having come into existence when the Queensland 
breccias and Tertiaries — characterised by the presence of P. parous and 
P. angustidens, n. sp. (herein described), — were laid down ; and secondly 
that no living species of wombat has come down to us from the Age 
of the Condamine beds. 

(3) "Description of anew Marine Shell," by C. Hedley, F.L.S., 
and C. T. Musson, F.L.S. The new species, described as Eidimella 
moniliforme, nourishes in the brackish water of the lagoon at Manly, 
near Sydney. 


Mr. Hedley read a short note descriptive of the ova of a common 
Sydney land mollusc, Helicarion robustus, Gould, which are somewhat 


different from those of other pulmonate molluscs occurring in the 
neighbourhood, being spirally ribbed. 

Mr. A. Sidney Olliff exhibited (1) two species of a small fly 
(Liplosis spp.,), recently bred at the Department of Agriculture by 
Dr. Cobb and himself from larva? found feeding on rust (Piiccinia) on 
peaches and sunfloAvers ; (2) a drawing of a larva of one of these flies, 
illustrating the anatomy of the animal, and exhibiting the embryo and 
larva of an internal parasite, apparently belonging to the Hymenoptera ; 
and (3) specimens of a dipteron (Tachina spj, a parasite of the plague 
locust, Pachytylus australis, Br., which is allied to the recently- 
discovered Musicera pachytyli, Sk. 

Mr. Maiden exhibited ripe fruits of Monstera deliciosa grown at 
North Sydney by Mr. J. Malbon Thompson, who believes that this is 
the first time that these fruits have fully ripened in Sydney. They 
were fifteen months in ripening after the fruit had set. 

Also, specimens of the " vegetable sponge," Lvffa aegyptiaca, 
grown by Mr. James Hurst at Summer Hill ; and an abnormal 
growth of maize cobs, from Batlnu-st. 

Mr. P. N. Trebeck showed some insects collected at^North Sydney. 

Mr. Henry Deane exhibited a fine specimen of Ophideres scdminia, 
Cr., from Casino, a moth which enlarges, by means of its augerdike 
proboscis, the holes made by fruit-flies, &c, in the rind of oranges and 

Mr. Deane also stated that last month, while travelling by night 
through the Big Scrub in the Richmond River District, his interest 
was aroused by the remarkable effect produced by luminous insects 
which abounded by the roadside. Specimens were secured and sent off 
in the hope that they would arrive in time to be exhibited at last 
month's meeting, but they came a day too late, and ir> the meanwhile 
have died. From their general resemblance to the larva? of Ceroplatus 
mastersi, Sk., which are also phosphorescent, Mr. Fletcher, who had 
seen the specimens forwarded, was of the opinion that these were very 
probably also dipterous larva?. 

Mr. David made some remarks on certain luminous organisms 
which he had observed in old coal mine workings in Illawarra, the 
identification of which it was hoped would not long be postponed. 



Sydney, 6th May, 1891. — Dr. Leibius, President, in the chair. 

Treasurer's Statement.— The financial statement for the year 
ending March 31, 1891, was submitted and adopted. The total receipts 
were put down at £1265 lis. 7d., and the total disbursements at £1268 
lis., the balance in hand on March 31 being £41 12s. The building 
and investment fund shewed a fixed deposit in the Union Bank of 
£566 17s. Id., and the Clarke memorial fund a similar deposit of £300 
Is. 8d. The total income for the year showed an increase of £45 on 
that of the previous 12 months, and the expenditure an increase of £88. 


New Members — Dr. W. H. Coutie, Petersham ; Dr. A. Jarvie 
Hood, Sydney ; Rev. W. Jordan, Cooma ; Mr. D. C. Selman, Sydney ; 
and Mr. J. M. Smail, Sydney. 

The New Council. — The following members were elected to fill 
positions on the new council: — President: Mr. H. C. Russell, B. A., 
O.M.G., F.R.S. Vice-Presidents : Professor Liversidge, M.A., F.R.S., 
Mr. W. A. Dixon, F.C.S., F.I.C., Dr. A. Leibius, Ph. D., M.A., F.C.S., 
and Mr. H. G. A. Wright, M.K.C.S.E. Hon. Treasurer : Mr. E. Hunt, 
C.M.G., F.G.S. Hon. Secretaries : Messrs. F. B. Kyngdon, and Prof. 
Warren, M. Inst. GE. Members of Council : Messrs. Robt. Etheridge, 
junr., G Moore, F.L.S., F.Z.S., Professor Anderson Stuart, M.D., C. S. 
Wilkinson, F.G.S., F.L.S., W. M. Hamlet, F.C.S., F.I.G, T. W Edge- 
worth David, B.A., F.G.S., J. A. McDonald, M. Inst. C.E., &c., J. H. 
Maiden, F.L.S., F.C.S., Alexander McCormick, M.D., and C. W. 
Darley, M. Inst. C.E. 

Sectional Committees.— The President announced the election of 
the sectional committees for the session 1891. They were appointed 
for the three following sections : Microscopical, Medical, and Civil 

Correspondence. — A letter was received from Professor F. W. 
Hutton, F.G.S., of Canterbury College, Christchurch, New Zealand, 
acknowledging the award of the Clarke Memorial. 

Anniversary Address. — The President, Dr. Leibius, then delivered 
the annual address, from which we make the following extracts : — 

" Antarctic Exploration — As you are aware Professor Liversidge 
referred somewhat largely to this subject in his Presidential Address 
last year, from which it appears that a Committee of the British 
Association was formed in 1885, which presented three reports, while 
Baron von Miiller of Melbourne, as early as 1886 strongly advocated 
an Antarctic Expedition. Nothing however, came of it ; the request 
of the Agent General of Victoria made in 1887 to the Imperial 
Government for a subsidy of £5,000 towards the cost of such an 
Antarctic Expedition under the condition of Victoria giving a similar 
sum having been declined on two grounds, viz., that as regards the 
two objects then put forward in support of such an expedition, i.e., 
promotion of trade and scientific enquiry, the first did not justify 
imperial contribution, and as to the second, that the proposed outlay of 
£10,000 on such an expedition could do but very little in the way of 
scientific investigation. At a meeting of the Australian Antarctic 
Exploration Committee held at Melbourne on the 4th of March, 1890, 
the munificent offer of Baron Oscar Dickson of Gothenburg, Sweden, to 
fit out and start a Swedish-Austx*alian Expedition under the leadership 
of the celebrated Baron Nordenskjold, to explore the Antarctic regions, 
provided Australia contributed half the estimated cost, viz., £5,000, 
while Baron Dickson offered to pay the other half, was brought before 
the members by the Consul for Sweden at Melbourne, Mr. Gundersen. 
This offer was enthusiastically received by the meeting, and the 
Victorian Branch of the Royar Geographical Society of Australasia 
in conjunction with the Royal Society of Victoria, at once set to work 
to enlist the hearty co-operation of the different branches of the Royal 


Geographical Society of Australasia and other scientific societies in the 
Australian Colonies, with a view of getting the stipulated £5,000. 

" Notwithstanding however, that considerable efforts have been 
made to secure this comparatively small sum, the amount subscribed up 
to date is less than £1,000, and it is more than probable that the 
Swedish-Australian Antarctic Expedition, which it was proposed to 
depart from Europe in a steamer specially fitted up for such purpose in 
July next, so as to start from Melbourne in the following September, 
and from Macquarie Island, the nearest depot to polar land, in October 
— will for this season at least have to be given up, since only the four 
months of an Antarctic summer, viz., October-February, could be made 
use of for Antarctic Exploration. 

" The subject of Antarctic Exploration was Jalso discussed by the 
Geographical Section at the Christchurch meeting of the Association for 
the Advancement of Science in January last, when a paper by Mr. G. 
S. Griffiths, F.R.G.S., President of the Section, on Australian and 
Antarctic Exploration was read and discussed. Baron Ferd. von 
Midler, as President of the Antarctic Exploration Committee of 
"Victoria pointed out the impossibility ot obtaiuing at the present 
time any large grant from either the Imperial or Colonial Governments 
and therefore advocated an expedition on lines of less magnitude and 
extending in the first place to only three or four months. 

" Admiral Ommanne} 7 in a letter to the Times strongly deprecates 
any idea of landing a party to pass the winter in the Antaictic regions 
The exploration of these regions is acknowledged to be of the highest 
scientific interest and of considerable commercial value, especially to 
Australasia. The principal objects of such an expedition would be : — 

1. Further extension of geological knowledge in South-polar regions. 

2. Scientific research including encpiiry into the problems of physical 
geography, natural histoiy, and meteorology. 3. Investigation of the 
fishery industry — chiefly whale and seal. 

" With regard to Baron Dickson's offer I append here an extract 
reprinted from an article in the London Times of February 13th last: — 
' Baron Oscar Dickson, of Gothenburg, Sweden, who is in London at 
present, naturally expresses some surprise at the conduct of the Austra- 
lasian Geographical Society, which originally approached him with 
reference to the undertaking. The only condition which he required 
was that Australia should contribute £5,000, and he would do all else 
that was necessary. He estimates that for a suitable expedition, even 
on a comparatively small scale, something like £15,000 would be 
wanted. Two of the powerful Norwegian sealing vessels, specially 
constructed for ice navigation could be purchased for £7,000. A com- 
plete equipment of scientific instruments would probably cost £1,000 ; 
but Baron Dickson believes that such an equipment would be willingly 
supplied by the Swedish Government. At least one of the ships would 
have to be furnished with provisions and other supplies for two years, 
in case of accident : while the equipment of the second ship, the pay- 
ment of crews, and other expenses would not leave a large balance out 
of the remaining £8,000. Baron Dickson would contribute £5,000, 
and would take upon himself the responsibility of obtaining the 
remainder. The bulk of it, he believes, he could obtain in Sweden and 


Norway, though he might give the Royal Geographical Society an 
opportunity of contributing, if it cared to do so. At all events if the 
Australians will find the moderate sum of £5,000, Baron Dickson is 
willing to be responsible for the balance. Although Baron Norden- 
skjbld had made up his mind to go on no more adventurous expeditions, 
yet his objections have been overcome, and he is willing to undertake 
the leadership of this expedition and take with him his son, who has 
proved himself of the right metal in a recent journey to Spitzbergen. 
With Baron Nordenskjbld as leader, success might almost be said to be 
secured. The plan was to send one ship as far south as possible, say to 
the neighbourhood of Mount Erebus. There the expedition would 
spend a whole vear making regular observations, and carrying out 
explorations as far as practicable. The second ship would take tip its 
station at the island of South Georgia, there to be ready for any 
emergency. Baron Dickson has thus made every arrangement possible, 
so far as he is concerned, but there is no sign of the promised £5,000 
from Australia.' 

" I sincerely hope that the Governments of the different Colonies as 
well as private citizens may see fit to liberally contribute towards the 
cost of such a desirable undertaking as an Antarctic Exploration. . 

"Biological Station. — Ten years ago the late Professor Smith in 
his Presidential Address to this Society, made an energetic appeal for 
contributions towards the cost of establishing a Biological Laboratory at 
Watson's Bay, where the Government had given an eligible site, and 
also had promised to double the private subscriptions up to £300. 
The well known Russian naturalist, the late Baron Maclay, had for 
two or three years previously been endeavouring to establish a Zoo- 
logical Station, and in a paper read by him before the Linnean Society 
of N.S.W. in 1878, he warmly advocated such a step. 

" The practical interest of the Royal Societies of Victoria and New 
South Wales, together with several other Scientific societies and private 
individuals, having been secured, a neat cottage was erected and fitted 
up for the purpose required. The contribution from this Society 
entitled us to nominate a worker, who would be received into the 
Laboratory with the right lo use all its appliances free of charge, but 
no one applied for this privilege, and Baron Maclay remained its only 
occupant. In 1886 the Government resumed the site on which the 
station was erected for military purposes, giving £500 as compensation. 

" Professor Liversidge, who is a warm supporter of a Biological 
Station near Sydney and had been largely instrumental in procuring 
the late modest building in Watson's Bay, referred to this matter in his 
Presidential Addresses delivered to this Society in 1886 and last year. 
Since then the Government have granted the use of an excellent and 
convenient site at little Siritis Point, near Mossman's Bay, and it is 
proposed to erect a suitable building thereon as soon as sufficient funds 
are in hand. At present about £600 are available, but much more is 
required. Professor Haswell, Sc.D., issued in December last a circular 
letter, appealing for support and contributions. As this letter and 
some of the replies received by him fully explain the work in view, and 
also show the great interest taken therein by some of the most eminent 


naturalists of Europe, I republish the same here, with an earnest appeal 
to the members of this Society and all interested in the progress of 
scientific research in the department of Natural History, for which this 
Colony and Sydney especially, offers such a rich harvest. I may add 
that the Royal Society of London has lately granted £50 towards this 
object : — 

"Biology Department, University of Sydney, 

"12th December, 1890. 
" Dear Sir, — It is intended to re-establish the Sydney Biological 
Station on new lines and in a more convenient position. The site of 
the former Station at Watson's Bay was resumed for military purposes 
in 1886 — the Government giving the sum of £500 as compensation for 
the loss of the building. This sum, with interest that has accrued, is 
all that the Trustees have at present at their disposal ; and, in order to 
establish and equip the Station in a suitable maimer, five or six times 
this amount will be requrred. The Government have intimated thpir 
willingness to assist by granting the use of a site suitable for the purpose. 
It is intended to construct one large Laboratory, with Aquaria and 
other necessary appliances, two or three smaller Laboratories, store- 
room and workshop, accommodation for a fisherman to act as boatman 
and caretaker, and, if possible, accommodation for a naturalist. With 
regard to this last, it is thought eminently desirable for the success of 
the undertaking that there should be attached to the Institution a resi- 
dent naturalist continually engaged in researches on the fauna of the 
coast. The rest of the work done at the station would be carried out at 
their own expense by biologists from this or the other colonies, or visit- 
ing us from Europe. The results would be for the most part published 
in the local scientific societies' publications. The following gentlemen, 
the Trustees appointed • by the Government, will be glad to receive 
contributions towards this national undertaking : — Hon. E. S. Combes, 
Dr. J. C. Cox, Prof. W. A. Hasweil, Prof. Arch. Liversidge, Hon. Jas. 
Norton, Dr. E. P. Ramsay. 

Trusting to have your support and co-operation in this important 
undertaking, I am yours very truly, 

"William A. Haswkll, 

"Professor of Biology, University of Sydney, 
"Hon Secretary and Treasurer. 

" The Forest Department of N.S.W. — The Department of Forests 
which formerly was a branch of the Mining Department, has during 
last year been re-formed as a separate Department under the 
Colonial Secretary, the services of Mr. J. Ednie Brown, F.L.S., as 
Director-General of Forests, (who successfully filled a similar position in 
South Australia) having been secured. The importance to the colony 
of a well managed Forest Department will at once be apparent by the 
following few facts, with which I have been kindly supplied, and which, 
I am sure, will be highly satisfactory reading to every well-wisher of 
this colony :■— The number of Forest Reserves is 944, and the area of 
reserves already proclaimed amounts to 5,579,000 acres, of which there 
.are about four million acres covered with more or less wood timber 


trees. Some 23,000 reel cedar trees have already been planted. Great 
efforts are being made to encourage the natural regeneration of the red 
cedar forests, and already good results have been attained in this 
direction. Over 10,000 natural grown red cedar plants of various ages 
and sizes have been properly cleared round and otherwise attended to. 

" The red cedar forests are situated principally on the northern 
rivers, such as the Clarence, Richmond, Tweed, Bellenger and Maclay. 
At the Gosford Nursery there is a stock this year of over 700,000 
young plants, of which the principal are red cedars, Pinus insignis, 
Pinus halepensis, English oaks, poplars, olives, the most important of 
the Eucalypts of all the colonies, and the American Catalpa. 

" Some fifty men are now employed by the Department in thin- 
ning the natural red gum forests upon the Murray Flats. It is 
intended to plant experimental plantations this winter at Broken Hill 
and Wilcannia with the tree known as the Sugar Gum (Eucalyptus 
corynocalyx). The growing of timber for the mines is a matter of great 
importance. The sugar gum has been successfully established in several 
parts of South Australia in similar soil and situations to those mentioned. 
Strong efforts are being made to induce not only our cabinet makers, 
but those in Europe as well, to try our scrub timbers for the making of 
furniture. Amongst the timbers recommended are the following : red 
cedar, tulip-wood, rose-wood, bean, onion-wood, beech, ash, she-oak, 
black-wood, marble- wood, satin-wood, cork-wood, nut tree, rough fig, 
myall, beef- wood, myrtle, and yellow-wood. 

" For buildings and general construction work the following- 
indigenous timbers are also beiDg brought before the market : — 
iron-bark, mountain ash, red gum, blood-wood, stringy-bark, black-butt, 
tallow-wood, spotted gum, box of various kinds, and mahogany. 

" A Forest Bill is now in course of being drafted, under which the 
necessary powers will be given to the Department, whereby increased 
and more satisfactory results will accrue. The Department is now 
bringing out an illustrated book upon ' The Forest Flora of New South 
Wales.' The work of lithographing the plates is being done by the 
Government Printer, and it is expected that the first part will be 
published about the end of June next. ...... 

" Mining and Metallurgy. — Shortly we shall be in possession cf 
the annual report of the Department of Mines for 1890 which will, like 
its predecessors, treat exhaustively of the progress and production of our 
mining industry. By the courtesy of the Honourable the Secretary for 
Mines and Agriculture I am enabled to give the following comparative 
statement of -the chief mineral productions of this colony in 1889 and 
1890. They are as under:— 



Quantity produced in 

Estimated Value in 

Description of Mineral. , ,~ 









Gold ... 





Silver Bullion 





Silver Lead and Silver Lead Ore ... 





Antimony and Antimony Ore 





Copper and Copper Kegulus 





Tin and Tin Ore 





Coal ... 





Coke ... 




Shale ... 





Limestone Flux ... ~ ... 



Alum ... 






Opals ... 



" The value of the above enumerated metals and minerals, produced 
in New Soutli Wales in 1890, amounts to no less than £5,231,482, an 
increase of nearly half a million sterling over 1889. A comparison of 
the returns for 1890 with the previous year, shows an increase of 8.000 
ounces in Gold ; while the produce of Silver Bullion, Silver Lead 
Bullion and Silver Lead Ore amounted together to no less than 
£2,762,554, being nearly £800,000 more than the output of 1889, and 
nearly 2-| times as much as that of 1888. The increase has been most 
remarkable, and shows the wonderful development of this industry 
during the last few years, fully confirming the anticipation of Mr. C. S. 
Wilkinson, Government Geolologist, as foreshadowed in his report to 
the Minister for Mines in 1884. As is well known, the Broken Hill 
Proprietary Company is the chief producer. From May, 1886, to 30th 
November, 1890, this Company has produced out of 483,078 tons of 
ore treated, 84,127 tons of Silver Lead Bullion, containing 20,594,272 
ounces of fine Silver and 83,413 tons of Lead. The production of Anti- 
mony and Antimony Ore has also increased during last year by about 
£17,000 in value. 

" A special feature in last year's production is to be noticed in the 
last item of the above list, viz. — 1951bs. Opals, valued at £15,600; they 
are found at Whitecliffs, Momba Station, about 57 miles from Wil- 
cannia. The principal reductions in last year's output are 1,000 tons 
less of Tin and Tin Ore to the value of about £85,000, and of Coal a 
diminished production of no less than about 600,000 tons of a value 
of £353,000. Deducting therefrom £41,147 as the value of Coke 
produced in 1890, we have a nett deficiency in the value of Coal 
produced in 1890, as compared with 1889, of about £312,000 — the 
direct result of last year's lamentable strike. 

" The amount of New South Wales Gold received at the Mint in 
1890 was 119,564 ounces, against an average of 110,650 ounces during 
the previous ten years. The Gold from this colony, however, is only 
I486 per cent, of the total amount received by the Mint in 1890 
(804,123 ounces), while Queensland contributed 619,367 ounces, or, a 
little over 77 per cent., of which Mount Morgan furnished 227,053 
ounces, Charters Towers and other Queensland Goldfields 392,314 


" No Iron was produced during last year from Colonial Ores. A 
great impetus to the Colonial Iron Industry will, no doubt, be given by 
the fact that the Goveimment have invited tenders (to be 1'eceived up to 
24th June next) for the supply of 175,000 tons of steel rails, to be 
entirely manufactured in this colony out of colonial ores ; fluxes, fuel 
and other materials required for their production to be also raised in 
this colony. From a report of Mr. C. S. Wilkinson, F.G.S., the 
Government Geologist, to the Minister of Mines, dated 30th January 
last, it would appear that the quantity of Iron Ore available in this 
colony, so far as can at present be ascertained, amounts to 12,944,000 
tons, estimated to contain 5,853,180 tons of metallic Iron. This 
quantity, calculated upon the present imports of Iron and Iron manu- 
factures, would be sufficient to supply the demands of this colony for a 
period of 35 years." 

Sydney, 3rd June, 1891.— Professor W. A. Dixon, F.C.S., Vice- 
President, in the chair. 

New members. — Messrs. E. A. Amphlett, E. M. De Burgh, R. D. 
Fitzgerald, T. Haughton, R,. E. Jones, and T. Poole. 

Paper (1) "Notes on the large Death-rate among Australian 
Sheep in Counties infected with Cumberland Disease," by Mons. A. 
Loir. The author said that the death-rate in New South Wales 
through Cumberland disease had been placed at 200,000 sheep a year, 
but this number was very much under the reality. The death-rate in 
infected animals ranged from 25 to 40 per cent. In France the death- 
rate through the same disease was, prior to the introduction of the 
anthrax vaccination, only 10 or 12 percent., and now it was considerably 
less. This difference could be accounted for as follows :— By compara- 
tive experiments it was easy to prove that the microbe had the same 
virulence in Australia as in Europe. It was, therefore, necessary to 
look for some other cause for the higher percentage in Australia. Not 
only was the dangerous season much longer here than in Europe, but 
the conditions under which sheep were kept in Australia were very 
favourable to exhaustion, and it was known by experiments recently 
made in Paris, as well as in Australia, that exhaustion favoured the 
development of the infection by anthrax as it did for many other 
diseases. A third eause which could easily be avoided by pastoralists, 
if the importance of it were well understood, was the following : — In 
Australia, when an animal died, its carcase remained on the same spot, 
and was torn to pieces by birds of prey, which spread the disease. This 
gross carelessness had been continued for many years past, so that the 
soil was literally saturated with microbes of infection. If stockowners 
properly understood how dangerous it was to leave undestroyed the 
bodies of the dead animals, they would, doubtless, devise some simple 
expedient for burning the remains without incurring the risk of bush 
fires. It was regarded as certain that as soon as vaccination became 
generally adopted the number of cases of " Cumberland disease " would 
diminish year by year, as was the case in those countries in which this 
valuable means of prevention was the ctistom. If the process of burning 
the bodies were adopted, the actual causes of contagion for men and 


animals would be diminished, and this remark applied not only to 
" Cumberland disease," but generally to all contagious diseases of stock. 
In view of the great impetus recently given to the meat export trade, it 
was most desirable that every possible precaution should be adopted in 
order to prevent European bacteriologists from finding in meat imported 
from Australia microbes or remains of microbes in large quantities. 
Stockowners would do well to bear in mind the fact that the import of 
hogflesh from America had been interdicted by many countries in 
Europe for several years past. 

Mr. Charles Moore expressed his sense of the value of the paper. 
He was quite sure that Mons. Loir was right in his conclusions. It 
was no use burying the dead animals ; they must be burned to prevent 

Professor Anderson Stuart considered that the thanks of the 
pastoralists were due to the author of the paper, and thought that the 
suggestion of Mons. Loir, that the pastoralists should take precautions 
to prevent the export of any infected carcases, was an excellent one. 
If any of the microbes were found in Europe in meat received from 
Australia the fact would be sure to be made the most of by interested 
parties, and it would prove to be the death-knell to the trade. 

Dr. MacLaurin pointed out that the law already provided for the 
dealing with persons who sold diseased meat. He fancied that exporters 
would see that it would be not only wicked but foolish to send such 
meat to market. If thsy exported it they did so in contravention of 
the law. 

2. Professor Anderson Stuart exhibited an apparatus for the demon- 
stration of sound waves or waves of condensation and reflection. The 
instrument, to which he had not yet given a name, showed the movements 
of pellets of ivory, which repi'esented particles of air as they oscillated 
to and fro. The first idea which led him to construct the apparatus 
was obtained from the oscillation of the legs of the centipede, which 
moved in a double wave — as seen from above, in waves of condensation 
and rarefaction ; as seen from the side, in vertical waves. The instru- 
ment was described as accurately representing the to-and-fro movement 
of the particles of air. The sound wave, as it were, could therefore be 
seen progressing from one end of the instrument to the other. 

3. Professor Dixon demonstrated to members the working of Love- 
bond's tintometer, which is specially useful in examining malt, flour, 
sugar, beers, and wines. Its purpose is to " dissect " the colours of the 
objects examined, and to determine what their value is. 

Melbourne, June 11th, 1891. — E. J. White, Esq , in the chair. 

Mr. E. F. J. Love read the report of the Gravity Survey Committee 
appointed in November last. The committee had, in accordance with 


instructions, carefully considered the proposal to cany out a gravity 
survey of Australasia by means of pendulum observations, and had 
decided to recommend that the Society should proceed with the observa- 
tions. The Committee had ascertained that the Royal Society of 
London would lend for the purposes of the Society the pendulum 
apparatus employed for a. similar purpose at the great trigonometrical 
survey of India, provided that the Royal Society of Victoria undertook 
to defray the expenses connected with the packing and despatch of the 
apparatus. The Committee looked upon the generous offer of the Royal 
Society of London as a matter of extreme importance, as its acceptance 
would not only render the construction of fresh apparatus unnecessary, 
but would make the observations taken in Australasia directly com-, 
parable with those made by the Indian survey, also at Greenwich and 
Kew, bases of the various European gravity surveys. The Committee 
had further ascertained that Mr. H. W. Russell, Government astro- 
nomer for New South Wales, Mr. C. Todd, Government astronomer for 
South Australia, and Mr. W. H. Bragg, Professor of Physics at the 
Adelaide University, would be willing to co-operate in the work and 
serve 011 the committee appointed to carry it out, and the Committee 
was of opinion that the assistance rendered by these gentlemen would 
be of great value. Material assistance had also been promised by Sir 
John Forrest, Premier of Western Australia. The Committee therefore 
respectfully asked for re-appointment, with the addition of Messrs. 
Russell and Todd, and Professor Bragg, with power to arrange for the 
carrying out of the survey at as many stations as might be found 
practicable, and further, that a grant of £25 be placed at the disposal 
of the Committee for the defrayal of current expenses, including the 
cost of the package and transport of the pendulum apparatus. 

On the motion of Professor Baldwin Spencer the report wes 

Papers. — (1) " On the anatomy of Ceratella fusca, Gray," by 
Professor Baldwin Spencer. 

(2) " Additional observations on the Victorian Land-Planarians," 
by Dr. Arthur Dendy. 

(3) "On a new species of fresh-water fish, from Lake Mgothoruk, 
Mount Wellington, Victoria," by A. H. S. Lucas. 

(4) " On Land-Planarians from Lord Howe Island, Part I., Des- 
cription of New Species," by Professor Baldwin Spencer. 

2? AUG 


Petrie's First Geography .... Is. 

Petrie's Geography of Mew Zealand . Is. 

Goyen's Complete Arithmetic . . . . Od. 

Answers to same . . . . . Od. 

Goyen's Exercises in the Compound Rules Is. Od. 

Answers -. Is. Od. 

Curnow's Primer of English History Is. 

Thomson's Mew Zealand Ferns . 6s. 

The Story of the Otago Church and ( Cloth 3s. Od. 
Settlement. By Rev. C. Stuart Ross \ Paper 2s. 

Education and Educationists in Otago. 
By Rev. C. Stuart Ross 

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17 OCT. 91 


No. 5, Vol. I, (New Issue.) 



Judicio perpende : el si tibi vera videntur 

Dede manus : aut si falsum est, adcingere contra. 



On. the Occurrence of Moa and Other Remains at Albury. W. W. Smith ... 19,3 

Notes on the Kea or Mountain Parrot. F. F. C. Huddlestone ... ... 198 

An Excursion to the Trelissic Basin. F. B. Chapman ... ... ... 202 

The Geysers Action of Rotorua, Camille Malfboy, C.E. ... ... 203 

The Prospects of finding Workable Coal on the Waitemata. Jas. Pakk, F.O.S. 208 

Star Charting and some Resulting Discoveries. H. C. Rl'SSELL, F.B.S. ... 211 

Beview— " Transactions and Proceedings of the N.Z. Institute — Vol. XX III."... 217 

Ice-Marks and their Counterfeits. Pro>\ F. W. Hutton, F.G.S. ... ... 219' 

General Notes— ... .. v ... ... ... ... 223 

An Interesting Point in Polynesian Ethnology — Notes on Eels — University 
Extension in New Zealand— The Polynesian Society. 

Meetings of Societies ... ... ... ... ... 227 

Wellington Philosophical Society — Auckland Institute— Otago Institute — 
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Vol. I, No. 5, N.Z. JOUKNAL OF SCIENCE (New Issue) SEPT., 1891. 


In Vol. II., page 293 of this Journal, I recorded the finding of 
numerous Moa and other remains in the caves and swallow-holes of the 
limestone rocks at Albury. Since I left the district in 1883 consi- 
derable changes have been wrought, changes which, from a naturalist's 
point of view, are not always welcome. The extensive swamps have 
been drained, the magnificent limestone range has been ploughed, 
and during the progress of the work many facts which may serve 
to enlighten its a little on the theories of the ancient or modern 
extinction of the Moas have come to light. As the opinions of 
scientists are still about equally divided on this question, the following 
observations made while digging up and collecting the bones of Moas 
and other extinct birds in the district, will, I think, show the great 
antiquity of the birds, as well as tend to prove that they existed there 
even in comparatively recent times. 

By direction of Sir Walter Buller, F.R.S., I lately proceeded to 
Albury to explore the caves and swallow-holes in the locality, and to 
collect all bones, <fcc, as above-mentioned. After engaging a man to 
assist in the work, we began on a swallow-hole that I had not previously 
examined. The " holes " I may observe are deep circular pits varying 
in size from a few feet to eighty or ninety teet in diameter at the top, 
and about the same in depth ; most of them have steep, sloping sides 
narrowing clown to the bottom. In wet weather the rain falling on 
their sides, and the small streams entering them from the higher points 
of the range, enter subterranean channels having their outlet in the 
low gullies, or on the edges of the swamps at the base of the lower 
downs. The occurrence of great quantities of mixed bones in the 
bottoms of the swallow-holes, and in the channels or fissures leading 
from them, suggests that the birds probably fell into them accidentally, 
and being unable to extricate themselves died in the holes. The bones, 
owing to the subsequent accumulation of broken rock and clay on the 
bottoms, are embedded at various depths, while others were carried by 
the water down the underground channels beyond recovery. The first 
hole we examined had a perpendicular opening of seven feet, and led 
into a horizontal cave thirty yards long. In the centre of it, and ex- 
tending its whole length is a broad fissure of great depth, with jagged 
almost perpendicular walls. After tying knots on the rope about four 
feet apart and fixing it to a crowbar driven into the ground on the top 
of the hole, we put down the tools and lowered ourselves. Having dug- 
through about eighteen inches of earthy clay containing pigs' bones we 
had to dig three feet deeper before finding any bones of the moa. In 
order to avoid injuring them with the tools we carefully probed the 
clay with a fine iron rod to ascertain where they lay. By this means 
we were able to proceed more expeditiously and with safety. The 
colour of the clay is yellow and intensely adhesive, it is somewhat difficult 
to work tools in it, and and although the work is not all rose pink and 


lavender, the hope ot good reward in the form of bones keeps the spirits 
buoyant. In working down the fissures they become narrower, and 
frequently the larger bones are found tightly jammed into their narrow 
bottoms. In all the fissures we worked we found a water channel 
formed along the bottom through which a considerable stream of water 
must occasionally flow, and owing to the long continuance of dry 
weather very little water was in any of the channels. One remarkable 
feature about them is the occurrence in parts of their bottoms of 
thousands of small bones mixed together in wet mud and sand (partially 
dissolved limestone). In some places we found them from six inches to 
a foot deep, and they appear to me to be composed chiefly of the bones of 
chicks of several species of Moa and Aptornis. Amongst them we found 
two skulls of Stringops liabroptilus (Owl Parrot). Along with these are 
some that will in all probability prove to belong to the ancient dog, the 
companion of the moa hunters. We also found chips of moa egg shells, 
gizzard-stones, and portions of moa skin, with remains of other species 
of birds still living in some localities, but extinct in the Albury district. 
For obvious reasons, I must, however, avoid dealing with their specific 
characters. The first fissure unfortunately becoming too narrow to 
admit of working it thoroughly, we had reluctantly to leave it, although 
we were fully aware that numerous valuable bones lay buried for ever 
beneath our feet. 

Our next essay was in the deep hole mentioned in my paper in 
Vol. II., page 293, and from which came the Aptornis skull described 
by Sir Richard Owen, and supposed by the accomplished naturalist to 
belong to a new species.* From the same hole were taken along with 
the Aptornis skull some of the largest and best preserved bones of 
Dirnomis dephantopus and crassus yet obtained. The bones buried in 
the clamp fissures are cleaner and whiter than bones dug out of swamps, 
the latter being generally charged with the black or other colouring 
matter of the clay or mud in which they occur. In entering the hole I 
observed that slight changes had occurred since I last examined it seven 
years ago. On each side a broad fissure filled with clay and broken 
limestone exists. In these fissures the bones are embedded at various 
depths in intensely tenacious clay. Since I last visited it a considerable 
quantity of the clay had fallen out of the fissures on to the bottom and 
left several bones projecting out of the almost upright section of clay 
and small stones. After turning over and collecting all bones contained 
in the fallen debris, we built as much of it as possible into one corner, 
and then dug down close to the wall of rock in line with the fissure 
until we reached the water channel on its bottom. But the extremely 
narrow space in which we were placed made it impossible for us to 
examine the full depth of clay in the hole ; it could only be done 
perfectly by constructing a staging across the top of it, and using a 
windlass to draw the whole of the clay to the surface. On reaching 
the water channel we again met with a vast number of small, mixed 
bones lying in the wet, sandy mud. We followed the channel away 
from the hole for several yards and obtained some excellent bones, but 
were stopped in our progress by the fissure again becoming too narrow 
to work in. We threw back the clay into the closed fissures and tried 

* Introduction to Sir Walter Buller's " History of the Birds of New Zealand," p. xxiii. 


in the opposite direction. But we were soon compelled to abandon the 
work in this hole owing to the impossibility of disposing of the removed 
clay. Having several times previously dug out many valuable bones 
from this hole, I am the more convinced that a great wealth of osseous 
relics lies buried at various depths in the accumulated mass of clay and 
stones partly filling it, — a veritable charnel-house of moa and other 
remains, awaiting the enterprise of some future explorer. 

While removing our tools to another swallow-hole heavy rain 
commenced to fall and continued for two days, which prevented us in 
the meantime continuing the work. We however resorted to the dry 
caves and painted rock shelters to examine their floors and sketch the 
numerous grotesque figures adorning the walls. On the Brothers 
Range between the Tengawai and Opihi rivers and in the valley of the 
Opihi there ai'e a number of painted rocks and caves which have not 
been examined or recorded. As soon as I can spare the time I intend 
to visit the district to examine and report on them, which I hope to be 
be able to figure and describe in a paper to be read before the New 
Zealand Institute. Arch geologically they are of great interest and 
value, and everywhere that they exist they are rapidly disappearing. 
The careful digging of all the floors yielded very poor results, for 
excepting numerous fragments of burned egg-shells and charred pieces 
of moa bones, we obtained nothing of value. A number of Pipi 
(Mesodesma Novce-Zealandice) and Pawa shells (Haliotis iris) were dug 
out of the layer of ashes that partly covered the floors. Parts of the 
rock shelters have a smoked and blackened appearance with a thick 
layer of ashes lying immediately beneath, thus showing that fires were 
kindled under the rocks and in the caves, probably on frosty nights or 
during wet weather. When the rain ceased we examined a number of 
old Maori ovens and the ash heaps around them that had been newly 
exposed only a few days before by the first ploughing of the land. 
They are situated on the low flat near the gorge of the Tengawai river, 
and near the painted rocks. A thorough examination of the ovens and 
ash heaps yielded even less than the floors of the caves or rock shelters. 
But there were evidences of the ash heaps having been formed at 
intervals of several years ; at least we judged so by examining them in 
section. The greatest depth of the ash (which is composed chiefly of 
comminuted bone,) was fourteen inches. The section in one instance 
showed two layers of fine earth 2-J inches in thickness interlayered with 
black ash 3 or 3J inches respectively, due, of course, to the action of 
earthworms. We expected to be rewarded for the day's work by 
finding some rude or polished stone implements, but none were obtained. 
The weather continuing fine we devoted a day to traversing the whole 
of the newly ploughed downs and collecting the upturned bones lying 
in the furrows ; wherever we found them we dug the ground carefully 
around for several yards and obtained some good bones and in one 
instance some gizzard-stones. But at no time did we obtain a perfect 
skeleton. Next morning we searched the bed and banks of the creek 
draining the eastern side of the limestone range, — where in former 
years I occasionally obtained good bones after floods. In passing along 
we discovered a native oven brimful of mussels. The plough had lately 
skinned off the five inches of soil covering the oven and left the shells 
exposed. After being placed in the oven they were apparently never 


cooked, as each valve was closed and the shells full of extremely fine 
earth. Before mid-day we resumed work at the swallow-holes and 
continued at them for several days with varying success. But I need 
not recount our work for the time, as the account given of the first two 
holes we worked will suffice to give a good idea of the others we 

The two main theories propounded to account for the extinction of 
the Dinomithidce, the one holding forth that the moas were exter- 
minated by an autocthonic race anterior to the advent of the Maori, 
the other that their extermination was solely the work of the latter race, 
may be briefly discussed here. The evidence given while exploring the 
swallow-holes, caves, and Maori ovens in the Albury district, seems to 
me to be more consistent with the views of scientists who hold that 
their extermination was accomplished, or at least accelerated by the 
hand of man, within the last three or four generations, certainly in late 
years. Several minor and extremely ingenious theories have been 
offered to explain the annihilation of the moas ; some are purely 
fanciful, others appear to me to be nearer to the truth, yet wide of the 
true cause. Of course I admit that the examination of a certain district 
may favour one theory and in another it may oppose it, yet the facts I 
am able to adduce will go to show that the moas — although they were 
birds of great antiquity, lived in the Albury district within very recent 
times. It is generally maintained that the larger and more clumsy 
species of the race were the first to succumb, and in many districts such 
probably was the case. At Albury, however, the larger bones are as 
commonly ploughed up on the downs, as those belonging to smaller or 
intermediate-sized birds. They are buried no deeper, as the ploughs are 
set to turn over only a certain depth of furrows. I have seen other 
great bones of D. elep/iantopus that were ploughed up on the tops of the 
limestone Downs near the cave village in a perfect state of preservation. 
The greater size and maturity of the bones would preserve them from 
decaying in the soil for a longer period than the bones of young or 
immature birds. When digging up the bones in the newly-ploughed 
furrows we observed that in every instance we only obtained parts of 
the skeleton ; this would appear to indicate that the birds were slain 
where they lay, and that parts of the carcase had been removed. If the 
birds had died a natural death where their remains were found, some 
allowance may be made for hawks, seagulls, and wekas attacking the 
flesh, and scattering the finer bones. But I know of no carnivorous 
bird or animal (excepting perhaps the Harpagornis) having strength 
to remove the heavy femurs or tarsi of a large bird. Supposing the 
extinct eagle to be endowed with the power, I think it is probable that 
owing to the great numbers of living prey it would not be a carrion 
feeder. Bui the fact of portions only of the skeletons being found in 
the open country, not only at Albury but elsewhere, seems to favour 
the idea that they were slain on the spot and cut up, and parts of them 
removed by their destroyers. The day we searched the newly-ploughed 
land, one of the ploughmen informed me that a few weeks before, while 
ploughing a small gully, the plough had suddenly turned over a " heap 
of different kinds of bones," and that he had collected them in a sack, 
and carried them into the homestead. Before leaving the district I had 
the pleasure of examining them and found they were composed of leg 


bones only, including several toe bones and claws, belonging to birds of 
various sizes. Possibly a thorough search of the spot where they lay 
would have resulted in finding all the bones belonging to each leg. The 
case, however, seems to afford support to the theory that when the birds 
were slain parts of them only were occasionally removed. It certainly 
is difficult to conceive how the leg bones of several-sized birds could be 
placed there by other than human agency. The great accumulation of 
burnt eggshells found in the kitchen middens of the moa hunters points 
to another potent cause, in fact, the chief one, operating steadily and 
annually as the destroyer of the moas. The fiercest and swiftest species 
could be exterminated in a few years by annually robbing their nests, 
and certainly the cunning of the Maori would be equal to the occasion 
in all cases. The fragments of eggshells we found in the ash heaps 
varied considerably in thickness, and in the granular markings on their 
surface, and the freshest chips occurred in the top layer of ashes. 

Now, in drawing conclusions from the evidence afforded by exami- 
ning the ash mounds, their layered condition suggests that towards the 
close of the moa age, the tribes by whom they were formed were 
nomadic in habits, and wandered from the district for periods of several 
years ; other evidence which seems to me to support these remarks is 
the fact of many of the rocks having been painted over and over again, 
while the fresher figures are truer and were given a higher finish. This 
may be considered to have no bearing on the question, yet I think that 
the nomadic tribes who were probably compelled to live and subsist on 
the sea coast during part of the year would acquire a taste for sketching 
them on the rocks when they returned to gather the eggs or hunt the 
moas; certainly the best executed figures on the rocks at Albury are 
those representing several species of fish. The occurrence also of marine 
shells in the floors of the rock-shelters and ash heaps near the old ovens, 
offers further proof of the moa hunters having occasionally visited, or 
lived temporarily, on the seashore. 

The great age of the bones occurring in the deep, clamp fissures at 
Albury, furnishes an important proof of the remote antiquity of the 
moas. The peculiar conditions under which they are found have been 
exceptionally favourable to their long and perfect preservation, while 
the occurrence of their remains in the tertiary and more recent deposits, 
and in the surface mould on the downs, illustrates the gradual 
extinction of the birds for many ages from some not very clearly known 
cause. The extremely hard and solid structure of* the matured bones 
would naturally resist the solvents of the soil for a longer period than 
the bones of other animals, but it is difficult to reconcile the fact of 
the more delicate bones being fonnd sound and perfect in superficial 
mould with the theory that the birds had perished where they lay four 
thousand years ago. The subject, however, has been so exhaustively 
dealt with by Sir Walter Buller, and the whole of the evidence and 
views of both sides compiled and brought down to date in perfect order, 
(loc. cit. page xviii.), that I refrain from discussing it here. When I 
have examined the caves, rock shelters, etc., in the Opihi cave districts, 
I will be able to deal with the subject more fully and to give details of 
the work. 

So far I have not touched on the origin of the bones in the deep 


fissures, nor am T aware that the subject has hitherto been dealt with, 
yet it is worthy of a passing notice. The fissures or earthquake rents 
in the limestone were formed at some remote period when numerous 
species of moas nourished in the district. Many of the fissures in 
which the bones are found are several yards broad at their tops, and 
are now filled up and are not distinguishable except in such parts where 
they can be seen in section. For ages after their formation, the stupid, 
clumsy birds, browsing or wandering near them, appear to have 
accidentally fallen in and perished. This mode of destruction lasted for 
a considerable time, or at least until the fissures filled up sufficiently to 
enable the birds falling to walk along the bottom and escape at some 
sloping outlet. These remarks are based on observations made in the 
fissures ten years ago, and in others lately, as the invariable result on 
both occasions, was the finding of the bones, etc., in the lowest ten feet 
of the clay filling the fissures. The latter extend in all directions on 
the range, and doubtless may continue to increase slowly in depth, 
caused by the water channels flowing along their bottoms and the rain 
water dissolving the rock. 

When the future historian of the moa age in New Zealand is 
dealing with the oldest preserved relics, or the remains of that giant 
race of birds, he may safely commence his work on the latter with the 
remnants found in these ancient fissures. When all other districts 
have been carefully explored we may then be able to discover some 
cause to account for the extermination of the moas. Until such work is 
accomplished we must remain content with data we possess. Certainly 
no zoological subject can surpass in interest the history of these 
marvellous ornithic relics of bygone ages. 

W. W. Smith. 


These few notes on the habits and peculiarities of the Kea are 
made up from information which I have gathered during a period of 
twenty years spent in localities where the birds were in great numbers 
— chiefly at the head of Lake Wanaka, at Lake Wakatipu, and at 
Mount Cook. I have shot and trapped thousands of them, watched 
them by day and night, and taken advantage of every opportunity of 
learning anything new pertaining to them. My chief object in 
writing these notes is to refute what I considar to be a totally 
erroneous idea which seems to have gained credence, and which, for 
brevity's sake, I will call the " kidney theory." Furthor than this, a 
few facts have come under my observation, which I have never seen 
mentioned as relating to these birds. 

The theory above mentioned was started by Mr. Henry Campbell 
of Lake Wanaka station. Not having the leisure to go fully into this 
matter, I will refer my readers to what Mr. Potts has written on the 
subject (Buller's History of New Zealand Birds, page 54, first 


edition, and also included in the second edition). I will confine 
myself simply to correcting and straightening up false impressions 
that have got abroad, notably one in a book which is now lying 
before me called " Darwinism," by Alfred Russel Wallace, and which 
has constantly been referred to in papers here and abroad. 

I first went to the Makarora Valley, at the head of Lake Wanaka, 
in December, 1869, and there met Mr. Henry Campbell, who had a 
station adjoining ours. I was very anxious to get a Kea, as it was 
then a new bird to me, and I had never, up to that time, either seen 
or heard one. I learnt from an old Maori the art of calling and 
trapping them, and to Mr. Campbell I am indebted for a great deal 
of information concerning their habits. On visiting Lake Wanaka a 
year later, this gentleman informed me that these birds had taken to 
killing and eating his sheep, their plan of operation consisting of 
picking a hole in the sheep's back over the kidneys. Acting on this 
information, I decided to spend all the time I could spare in endea- 
vouring to find out the reason of their taking up these carnivorous 

The following statement by Wallace is generally believed to be a 
correct description of the bird, viz. : — " It belongs to the family of 
" brush-tongued parrots, and naturally feeds on the honey of flowers and, 
" the insects which frequent them, together with such fruits or berries 
" as are found in the region. Till quite recently this composed its whole 
"diet, but since the country it inhabits has been occupied by Euro- 
" peans, it has developed a taste for a carnivorous diet with alarming 
" results. It began by picking the sheepskins hung out to dry, or 
"the meat in the process of being cured. About 1868 ("? 1870) it was 
" first observed to attack living sheep, which had frequently been 
" found with raw and bleeding wounds on their backs. Since then it 
" is stated that the bird actually burrows into the living sheep, eating 
" its way down to the kidneys, which form its special delicacy." 

A correct description of the Kea will be found in ' ; New Zealand 
Birds." The young bird, the first year, is very yellow at the base of 
the mandibles. The beak of the Kea is longer and not so curved as 
that of the Kaka (Nestor meridionalis) . The Kaka feeds chiefly on the 
honey of flowers, and, in winter- time, on the grubs in rotten wood ; I 
have never seen the Kea take to either of these diets. Its beak is 
more suitable for grubbing after the larvte of the different insects that 
are found in the ground, — such as the grub of the Weta of the Natives 
(Deinacrida) and of the Cicada, of which there are large numbers in 
the high country of Canterbury and Otago, although they disappear 
as the country is burnt by the runholder, who not only kills the 
insects by so doing, but also destroys all the berry-bearing scrub. 
This process of course improves greatly the sheep-carrying capacity 
of the soil, but, at the same time, it deprives the Kea of all its natural 
food, thereby causing the bird to take to a carnivorous diet. They do 
no harm to the sheep running in the vicinity of Mount Cook, but 
further down, where the country is denuded of its scrub, they have 
proved very destructive. They seem to learn the pernicious habit 
from their neighbours, as I noticed at the Wanaka that, for a time, 
they left one run strictly alone, while on the adjoining run in six 
months they killed 100 hoggets out of 1,500. 


I have watched the bird at work. To get at the grubs, it will 
cock its head on one side, look hard at the ground, and then make a 
dab at it, bringing bits of earth away each time with the hook of its 
beak, until it gets a short way in. It does not keep its head under 
ground for any length of time, although it will make a burrow eight 
or nine inches deep ; but, all the time it is at work, it keeps bringing 
its heed out sharply to take a look around. 

Besides grubs, they feed on the berries of various alpine shrubs 
and trees, such as the snow berry (Gaultheria), Coprosma, Panax, 
the little black seed in a white skin of the Phyllodadus alpinus, the 
Pittosporum with its hard seed in a glutinous mass like bird-hme, and 
the red berry of the Podocarpus; also, in winter, on roots of the 
various herbaceous alpine plants — Aciphylla squarrosa and colensoi, 
Ranunculus lyallii, Celmisias, etc. 

The Kea has the power of moving its upper mandible to a 
greater extent than I have noticed in any other of the Nestor family. 

The reason, I believe, that the bird has been charged with eating 
the kidney of the sheep it attacks, is that the loin or rump of the 
sheep is the broadest part whereon it can get an easy grip. As soon 
as the sheep feels its assailant, it runs away with the bird holding 
on and naturally having its beak just over the kidneys where it 
immediately sets to work. It will eat any part of the sheep when 
the animal is either dead or alive, but it prefers the pulp which 
it strips from the sinews, in the same way that the kakapo strips the 
pulp from grass. I have found large numbers of sheep with only a 
very small hole on the back, about the size of a crown, which on 
being examined, showed a cavity beneath as large as a man's hand, 
in which the backbone and ribs were perfectly bare. Others I have 
found with holes in the side through which the intestines had been 
drawn, the sheep being still alive ; and, in some instances, the wound 
had healed and apparently formed a false anus. 

They become very tame if not disturbed, and their antics are 
very amusing to watch. At Mount Cook my old collie dog was 
frequently the victim of their pleasantries. In the evening — their 
usual time to congregate— they would find the dog lying in front of 
the house ; they would then walk around him, first one would go up 
and pull his tail and run away, another would follow suit, and so on 
until the victim would get up growling and retire into the verandah. 

They would then form a circle, and one would step into the 
centre and make a variety of sounds as if he were addressing the 
others, who would keep perfectly still until he finished up with a cry 
like " bow-wow," when they would all hop round him. They seem to 
be a very unselfish lot of fellows, as they will keep this performance 
up for a considerable time, allowing each member to address the 

They are very playful and inquisitive, and will wrestle and roll 
one another about like kittens. In fact they carry their playfulness 
to such an extreme as to become a nuisance to surveyors, whose flags 
they pull down as soon as the surveyors put them up. Another 
instance of their playfulness came under my notice, during the last 


season, at the hut erected by the Government on the Ball Glacier. 
The birds would perch on the top of the roof, and, two or three at a 
time, would slide on their tails down the corrugated iron until they 
reached the lower edge, when they would fly oft' and continue the 
game for an hour or more. 

I am unable to give a correct estimate of the number killed in 
the Mount Cook — Lake Wakatipu districts. The slaughter of them 
at times has been very great; at Lake Wanaka, in four years, I 
myself killed over three thousand ; and I know of several up-country 
stations where 100 to 200 were killed yearly. To reduce their 
numbers, the County Councils used to give from one to two shillings 
per beak, and the Government then gave the Councils a subsidy of £ 
for £,. This has now been discontinued, which has resulted in the 
birds not being as much sought after, and so given a chance of 
increase — a chance of which they will not be loth to take advantage. 
About Mount Cook they breed very early in the year, as I have found 
their nests in August, when snow was on the ground. 

The first time that I saw the nests at that time of the year was 
when I was shooting, at an altitude of 3,000 feet. I shot a bird that 
was sitting on a rock ; after it fell, another appeared on the rock, and 
from the same place I shot twenty-two. I went to pick up the dead 
birds, and I then found that they had, in the first place, all come 
out of a hole under the rock. On looking into the hole I saw 
something moving, which eventually turned out to be young birds. 

They were out of reach, but after some trouble I managed to 
noose one, and I found that it was in its nesting plumage of slate- 
coloured down, with very yellow beak and legs. There were others 
in different stages of growth, also eggs. I have since found other 
nests, and have noticed that, after a time, the old birds leave the half- 
grown ones to hatch out the late eggs, all the community doing their 
share of feeding the young. The same habit I have noticed in the 
case of the native parroquet. The Kea's egg is white and about the 
size of a pigeon's, but rounder and with a rough shell. The young 
do not come out of the nest until fully fledged and able to fly. The 
old birds are very courageous, and in defence of their young I have 
seen the parent birds tackle a hawk, and nearly pluck him before he 
could get away. The young birds are so tame that if a person comes 
across a flock of them and keeps perfectly still, they will walk up to 
him and pull at his clothes. They will learn to talk but are rather 

It is very pleasing to watch these birds as they congregate after 
the sun sets, and if a person can " call " them they will answer with 
their usual response of " Ke-a ! Ke-a ! Bow-wow ! Bow-wow ! " 

Like many of our native birds, the Kea will gradually retreat 
before the march of civilisation, and they will live only in such works 
as Buller's " History of New Zealand Birds," and others of the same 




While the wholesome taste for mountain touring which has arisen 
in the colony in the last few years impels our town folk to visit Mount 
Cook, Lake Wakatipu, and other centres, our travelling public has not 
yet learned to value the bye paths which add so much interest to such 
travelling. Some time before the Hermitage was built I camped with 
a jiarty including Mr. Huddlestone at the foot of a spur in the Ben 
Ohou range where now Glentanner station stands. Having a spare 
day I ascenled to the summit of the mountain at the back of the 
station, and probably got better results than could be obtained nearer 
Mount Ccok at the altitude which I reached, viz., 8,600 feet. I cannot 
too strongly recommend this comparatively easy day's work — 10 hours 
suffice — to anyone who wishes to study the whole system of Mount 
Cook and the peaks to right and left and the three great glaciers. Yet 
this mountain is entirely neglected. I have never yet managed to 
induce anybody to go and visit a view equal to that from the Gorner 
Grat. Experimentini>- in a similar way I found another lying much 
nearer to hand though perhaps not equal to that. In January last 
after the visit of the Australasian Association was over, I accepted 
the hospitality of Mr. J. D. Enys, of Castle Hill, for a few days. My 
wife accompanied me, and we found there Mr. Kirk on a botanising 
excui'sion. Castle hill is on the West Coast road, 20 miles from 
Springfield. It is not on the line of the Midland Railway, but it is the 
best piece of land in the valley of the Upper Waimakariri. Mr. Enys' 
house, now owned by Mr. Stronach, is 2,500 feet above the sea, and is 
beautifully situated in a clump of Mountain Beech (Fagus cliffortioides) 
which extends over some thousands of acres along the face of the range. 
It commands a full view of Mount Torlesse, a famous collecting ground 
for botanists. The district is an enclosed basin with no outlet under 
3.000 feet in height, save the gorge of the Wamakariri. The floor of 
the basin is composed of limestone, I am not geologist enough to tell 
its history, but it looks as if it had been a kind of land-locked bay, with 
a narrow entrance from an ancient coast sea. Marvellous collections of 
fossil teeth have been made there, and Mr. Enys showed me a 
remarkable little bone which we were convinced was the top of a bird's 
bone, — this, too, out of the limestone. Our first excursion was through 
the beautiful beech forest in which we noted from time to time the 
gorgeous crimson mistletoe, and tip the stony creek bed to a height of 
4,100 feet to the first of the Edelweiss. This for a lady is a good climb. 
Next day I went with Mr. Rogers, a nephew of my host, to the height 
of 6,900 feet. The way up this height is simple ; it is to follow the 
spur oj^posite the door of the Castle Hill Hotel until the summit is 
reached. It was a broiling day and I shall not easily forget our struggles 
over the broken slates to reach a small patch of snow near the top. 
But the view from the top is really magnificent. Mount Cook, about 
90 miles off, stood out splendidly with its chief neighbours in bold relief. 
This is one of the points from which it is seldom seen and it gives a 
new view of the extension northward of the range. Two bold moun- 
tains much nearer flanked the view ; I suppose Mount Arrowsmith and 


Mount Sinclair. The whole line of the great backbone of New Zealand 
for 150 miles was visible at once, while by merely turning round one 
could see the coast from Cheviot to Tiraaru say 120 miles in a sweep. 
The summit of Torlesse made a patch over Cbristchurch, but Sumner 
was plainly visible. Lake Coleridge lay like an emerald below us and 
two or three small lakes were visible. On the distant Canterbury 
plains, farms, roads and plantations could be distinguished. Returning, 
we descended over the vast slides of shingle by planting one foot in it 
and taking giant strides covering 2,000 feet in a few minutes. 
Attempting to quench an intolerable thirst we found nearly all the 
streams so bitter with alum as to be nauseous. We found a large 
mimber of interesting plants. On the vast stretches of shingle we 
noticed the singular genera which seem to enjoy life in that inhospitable 
region, while on the lower slopes an immense profusion of Celmisias 
and other alpine composites prevailed. Celmisia viscosa predominated, 
while C. sinclairii, C. haastii, C. laricifolia, C. bellidioides, C. lycdlii, and 
a small form of the species or variety now called C. jervoisii were 
identified. At 4,500 feet O. bellidioides is a singularly beautiful plant 
when in flower, but it degenerates at lower levels. Senecio lyallii, 
usually yellow as a buttercup, was found to be cream-coloured above a 
certain height. Ascending a stream in a rocky bed I presently found 
it white, — a few yards higher I found a very similar plant with pure 
white flowers but with rough hairy instead of glabrous leaves. This 
was the variety or species called Senecio scorzonerioides. 

A very interesting Raoulia or vegetable sheep was very plentiful 
on steep rocky places, but I believe a finer species is found on Mount 
Torlesse. I am growing one of these in a pot where it seems to do 
well. Several which I planted on a rockery have been torn to pieces 
for insects. It is said that the Keas tear them up with their powerful 
beaks and that these birds learnt to eat mutton through mistaking dead 
sheep for masses of Raoulia. 

F. R. Chapman. 



(Paper read before the Auckland Institute, 22nd June, 1891.) 

Being appointed engineer in charge of the Government Thermal 
Spring District at Rotorua, immediately after the eruption of Tarawera 
in 1886, it became part of my duty to observe and report on any 
changes which might take place in the hot spriugs, geysers, &c. The 
eruption seemed to have had great influence over them. Many which 
had been quiescent and some which had been considered as dead (having 
in the course of time become filled with rubbish and overgrown with 
weeds and brushwood) suddenly burst into renewed activity, and almost 
daily during ths first six weeks after the eruption I could observe some 
ohauses in thermal action — something new here and there. 


The geysers immediately attracted my attention. Waikite geyser, 
at Whakarewarewa, which had been quiescent for about ten years, again 
burst into full activity, with eruptions about every quarter of an hour. 
Pohutu, Wah'oa, and the other geysers were also playing occasionally, 
but were very irregular in their action. Sometimes weeks would elapse 
without one or the other of them showing any signs of activity, whilst 
at other times they would be active for several days in succession. 

Not having had a long acquaintance with the district, I made 
inquiries of old residents (European and Maori) for any theory to 
account for the inequality in the thermal action of these springs and 
geysers. The generally received opinion was that these geysers Avere 
influenced by the wind — with southerly winds they were quiescent, and 
with northerly they were active. As I could not well understand how 
the wind could affect geysers or springs situated in sheltered positions, 
I began a system of personal observation, and soon found that southerly 
wind meant high barometer and northerly a low one; and if I could 
not understand the wind theory, I could understand the hydrostatic 
effect and the influence of atmospheric pressure, which was simply 
equivalent to a reduction in the column of water. Every spring and 
geyser being naturally hydrostatically balanced, the reduction by any 
means of the weight of the column of water should bring a corres- 
ponding increase in the activity of the spring. Acting upon this theory, 
I determined to experiment privately ujDon Te Puia, a thermal spring in 
a secluded spot near an old pa, on the right hand side, and well down in 
the bed of the Puareuga River, therefore less influenced by winds. It 
was at that time boiling, but not very actively. By means of a drain 
which I cut in the sand formation by the level of the river, I removed 
about two feet of the water of the pool which formed around the spring. 
This removal of two feet of dead water had an immediate effect on the 
spring ; it began to boil furiously, and a few minutes afterwards burst 
into a geyser, throwing water from 30 to 40 feet high, discharging at 
the same time the whole of the dead water of the pool. I watched this 
eruption of what I thought a new geyser, for there was vegetable 
growth of several years' standing around it, with wonder and with a 
certain amount of anxiety, as I began to fear that I had started some- 
thing which I could not control. However, after a few minutes, taking 
advantage of a decrease in the eruptive force, I ran to the drain I had 
made, and refilled it as quickly as possible, causing part of the water 
thrown up by the geyser to be again caught in the pool or basin. It 
soon accumulated, and after a while the geyser action ceased, and the 
water of the pool ran down the geyser's tube, together with a consi- 
derable quantity of water from the river, which had flowed back 
through the partially closed drain. In about ten minutes the tube was 
filled with cold water to the surface. 

I watched it for a while, and saw the water getting hotter and 
hotter. Eventually it began to boil, but without any geyser action. 
After a time I again opened the drain, and almost immediately there 
was another splendid eruption similar to the former. I determined to 
to allow this to play and see what it would do, as I began to have some 
confidence in my ability to control it by the same process as before, if it 
was found necessary. It played for about twenty minutes, the geyser 


action getting weaker and 'weaker, and the cooled water in the pool 
getting stronger all the time. The water eventually got the best of it, 
and flowed down the geyser tubs to repeat the same action as before. 
Having made the geyser play and cease playing several times, I re-closed 
the drain thoroughly and went away. I did not see it play again that 
day, and the following day about noon, when I went near, I found by 
the marks I had left that it had not been in eruption since I left it the 
night before. The water of the pool would boil up violently at times, 
but there was no eruption. I then again tried what the opening of the 
drain would do. The result was the same as on the previous day — a 
splendid eruption of the geyser. I again watched the action for three 
successive times, and eventually went away leaving the drain open, and 
from the volume of steam which went up periodically from that spot I 
could see that intermittent geyser action was taking place. 

I repeated and watched these experiments on many occasions 
during the months of August and September, 1886. Once, the river 
being rather high, I turned the cold water from it on the geyser when 
in full eruption. This almost instantly stopped its action, but at the 
same time it caused a great noise, probably owing to the sudden 
condensation of steam within the geyser tube. After a while, however, 
the noise ceased, the pool filled up, and all was quiet ; and as long as I 
allowed the cold water to flow across over the mouth of the geyser tube 
there was no eruption or even any perceptible action of the springs. 

Having thus acquired some little practical knowledge of the 
working of this particular geyser, I began to compare it with that 
of others to see if any of them could be made to play at will. I then 
watched and studied the action of Pohutu, which is situated on the 
principal geyser fissure of Whakarewarewa. This fissure supplies no 
less than seven active geysers and blowholes, besides quite a number of 
old geyser tubes, which have been inactive for many years, though they 
still emit steam and make a rumbling noise, as of boiling water some 
considerable depth below the surface. They do not seem to affect or to 
be affected by the working or non-working of the active geysers. 

Having noticed the great irregularity of action of the different 
geysers, I thought that it must to a great extent be attributed to 
outside or surface influence. I noticed that when Pohutu was in 
eruption Waikoroihi would stop, and vice versa. This showed that they 
were kydrostatically connected, and as long as Waikoroihi played, the 
water ejected, finding its way into the blue pool of Pohutu at a 
considerably reduced temperature (about 160° Fahr.), would so affect 
the cool water in the blue pool that it would not boil up whilst this 
lasted. As it did not cause the water to rise in that pool, I concluded 
that it might find its way back into Waikoroihi, and thus be thrown up 
again and again. I tested this by discolouring the water in the blue 
pool with loam, and found that, though the discolouration disappeared, 
the small bits of grass, moss, etc., were re-ejected by Waikoroihi. 

Taking the opportunity of a visit of the Hon. Mr. Mitchelson, tin- 
late Minister of Public Works, to our district, I explained my views on 
these matters to him, with an imaginary sketch of the geyser tubes ; 
Mr. Mitchelson took considerable interest in it, and allowed me to 
expend a few pounds experimenting thereupon. At the beginning of 


September, 1888, I built a temporary wall directing the Waikoroihi 
water away from the " blue pool." This soon had the effect of raising 
the temperature of the blue pool from 200° to 210 s Fahr. The water 
rose a few feet and began to boil furiously, then the pipe, which I 
call the " Indicator," became active, and as soon as this took place the 
water in the " blue pool " would cease boiling and go down again to the 
low water-line. I watched this same action for several hours, but 
unless the water of the blue pool rose to the level of the overflow drain 
there was no ei'uption of Pohutu. Seeing that this small indicator 
tube acted as a kind of safety valve I tried to close it up with bags, 
stones, etc., bixt failed, the steam and water finding its way through 
small fissures in the rocks. It then occurred to me to build a kind of 
dam around the " indicator " so as to collect the water ejected by it, 
and also lead some of the water from "Waikoroihi into this dam, thus 
causing this cooled water to flow back down the indicator tube. This 
had the desired effect. The indicator stopped playing altogether as 
long as I could keep a small stream of cooled water running down it. 

On the following day Waikoroihi stopped playing. The water of 
the blue pool rose to the level of the overflow drain, became more and 
more active, and on the 9th of September, two days after the works 
were finished, Pohutu gave a grand eruption, lasting nearly two hours, 
throwing large volumes of water from 60 to 80 feet high. This 
eruption was repeated in the evening, and from that date till December, 
1889, it played regularly about twice in 24 hours. During this time, 
while I was acting as commissioner at the Paris Exhibition, there was 
no one on the spot to look after these special works. The consequence 
was that Pohutu again stopped playing regularly. On my return, in 
February, 1890, I was informed that Pohutu had not played or been 
in active eruption for the last nine weeks. I at once went over to see 
it, and finding that the works I had made had been tampered with, I 
had them put into temporary repair, with the result that Pohutu played 
wp again a few hours after the work was finished, and its action has 
continued ever since, though not so regularly as before, but this is no 
doubt only due to the defective repairs of former walls, etc. 

As a further illustration of what may be done in regulating the 
action of geysers, or even in creating or starting new ones, I may state 
that in the sanatorium grounds there are two hot springs with concrete 
basins around them, which were never known to have geyser action, 
though the formation of the surrounding rocks shows that they had 
been geysers at some remote period. These springs supply the hot 
swimming bath, but during the year 1889, they had gone so low, and 
were so much influenced by the atmospheric pressure, that sometimes 
they would remain for several clays two or three inches below the level 
of the outflow pipe, thus discharging no water. This became a matter 
of great importance, as the bath which cost £1,000 threatened to 
become useless, owing to not being able to keep it at a proper and 
regular temperature. 

It occurred to me that by contracting the springs proper into pipes, 
it would prevent the hot water from becoming cold, by admixture with 
the water in the basin, for I had noticed that when the springs were 
active, the temperature of the water in the basins would rise from 


140deg. minimum to 180deg. maximum. I thought that this increased 
activity of the springs, when the water was hot, was owing to the 
difference in the specific gravity between hot and cold water which the 
spring tube or fissure might contain in its column, and that this diffe- 
rence might be sufficient to cause the water to rise a foot or two above 
present level according to the depth at which this influence (in the 
temperature of the water) would take place. I had some temporary 
works carried out to prove the correctness of this theory, and to my 
delight found that it was quite true, and that instead of a small rise of 
two feet, which would have been quite sufficient for our purpose, there 
was force enough in the springs under these altered circumstances to 
' form geysers. Having further acquired the knowledge that the whole 
of the springs in the Oruawhata and Chameleon basins were hydros ta- 
tically connected, I arranged a system of pipes over the three principal 
springs, connecting each of them by secondary pipes to three valves by 
means of which either of the springs can be made to play as a geyser at 
will. To keep the springs quiet, low, and cool during the time the 
works were being carried out, cold water from the town main was 
injected into one of the three spring tubes, pumping it with an ejector 
out of another, whilst the work of cementing the geyser tube was going 
on in the third ; and by shifting the injector and ejector pipe from one 
spring tube to the other I had the three geyser tubes firmly secured. 
These works were [finished early in May, 1890 ; and the springs were 
thus kept quiescent for three weeks to allow the concrete to set 
properly, and eventually four days longer, so as to start them into 
action for the first time on the Queen's Birthday, at two p.m. A con- 
siderable number of people gathered to see this novel experiment. The 
new fountains were christened the "Malfroy's Group of Geysers," their 
distinctive names being the "Victoria," the "Nelly," and the "May." 
[The geyser action in different springs was then described, and it was 
shown how it could be induced.] From the experience thus gained I 
support the theory that the geyser tubes are connected with subter- 
ranean caverns or chambers, and that heat or superheated steam pene- 
trating through fissures s applies the natural or motive force, and I 
conclude that the difference between the specific gravity of hot and cold 
water within the geyser tube will thus produce every phenomenon of 
geyser action to be observed at Rotorua, and I am led to believe that, 
by studying the action of geysers and springs in this district, they could 
in most cases and to a certain extent be regulated and controlled. 

Geyser action may be briefly explained according to the foregoing. 
Supposing that an even-sized tube full of water become so hot that 
steam generated at the bottom, under heavy pressure, rises through it 
without being condensed, there comes a time when several globules of 
this steam will be in the tube at the same time, and as they rise to the 
surface they will expand in proportion to the release of pressure exerted 
upon them, and when coming near the surface they, as it were, explode, 
throwing the small quantity of water contained in the tube above them 
into the air, forming irregular intermittent explosions. Eruptions of 
longer duration can be explained thus : The actual weight of water in 
the geyser tube, acting as valve on the force, may by means of these 
globule explosions, Grid itself suddenly released by, say, half the pressure 
of the column of water. The equilibrium being thus destroyed, the 


pent-up steam rushes up the (geyser) tube with a force proportionate to 
the depths at which the reservoir containing this force may be situated, 
and acting on the principle of a Giffiu-d ejector, the pent-up steam 
rushes up the tube, taking up with it a certain quantity of the water 
which may find its way into the tube, and ejecting it into the air in the 
form of high, low, or intermittent geysers, in proportion to the different 
size, position, force and volume of the spring, and other circumstances 
of the case. 

I have also observed that the chemical composition of the water is 
sensibly altered by the different actions of the geysers. Thus, if the 
geyser is made to play very actively the water becomes softer to the 
touch, it being more silicious and oily than when the geyser action is 
subdued and allowed to boil up quietly. 

This will account for the comparative rapidity observed in the 
formation of terraces and mounds around the most active geysers, and 
the very small amount of silica deposited by springs of less pressure and 



(Read at the Meeting of the Auckland Institute on 22nd June, 1891.) 

The recently reported discovery of a thin, irregular seam of coal in 
the cliffs near North cote has again directed attention to the probable 
existence of workable coal in the vicinity of the city of Auckland. The 
great economic importance of this question has long engaged the 
attention of the Director of the New Zealand Geological Surveys, and 
during the past ten years a number of surveys have been undertaken by 
the officers of his department with the view of collecting sufficient data 
to definitely determine the relation existing between the "VVaitemata 
beds and the New Zealand coal-bearing series. 

In the years 1879, 1880, and 1881 Mr. Cox, late New Zealand 
Assistant Geologist, examined the country extending northwards from 
the Auckland isthmus to Whangarei on the east coast and the Upper 
Kaipara on the west. He arrived at the conclusion that the Wai- 
tematas, as typically developed at Orakei Bay and Port Britomart, 
were unconformable to and had no connection with the brown coal 
measures of Drury and the Lower Waikato Basin. In 1885 and 1886 
I re-examined the same country, and also made a close and detailed 
survey of the shores of the Hauraki Gulf from Auckland to the 
Maraetai Bange. The result of my observations tended to show that 
no uncorformity existed from the top of the Waitematas to the base of 
the Papakura series; and subsequent surveys by Mr. McKay, F.G.S., 
the present assistant geologist, have shown that the Papakura beds rest 
quite conformably on the brown coal measures of the "Waikato and 


Draiy areas. The fact Las, therefore, been established by actual survey 
and observation that the Waitemata beds are conformable and belong to 
the New Zealand coal series — an opinion which has always been 
maintained by Sir James Hector. 

It may be as well before pursuing this subject further to shortly 
inquire into the physical conditions considered necessaiy for the for- 
mation of coal. By the geologists of the early part of this century 
it was believed that workable true coal could only be found among a 
certain class of shales and sandstones of the palaeozoic or primary period, 
to which the age and name of carboniferous had been affixed ; and it 
may be as well to note here that this conclusion was fully sustained by 
their experience of the coal measures of Great Britain, Continental 
Europe, and North America, all of which were found to belong to this 
period. But the many brilliant discoveries of the past forty years have 
led to a remarkable evolution of thought and theory in every branch of 
knowledge, and in none is this seen more conspicuously than in the 
science of geology. True coals of superior quality have been found in 
the Jurassic and triassic rocks of India and New South Wales, and in 
New Zealand in rocks that belong to the base of the tertiary period, 
but which possess in some places a secondary facias, and hence have 
been called cretaceo-tertiary in age. 

Thus it is seen that there is interposed between the carboniferous 
coals of Britain and the cretaceo-tertiary coals of New Zealand the 
whole of the secondary and a part of the primary periods, representing 
an immensity of time of such infinite duration as to defy the compre- 
hension of our finite minds. This wide lapse of time renders it easy to 
explain the great geological differences which exist between our own 
and the Old World coals. Perhaps the most marked distinction lies in 
the character of the vegetation of which each is composed ; for, while 
the European coals are mainly composed of the remains of a flora 
belonging to the cryptogamic kingdom, truly characteristic of the 
palaeozoic period, the New Zealand coals are composed of the remains 
of a varied forest vegetation which everywhere marks the advent of the 
tertiary period and the luxuriant flora of the present time. In the 
forests of our coal period there flourished two species of the kauri, 
which at that time grew all over New Zealand ; three species of the 
beech, so commonly and erroneously known throughout the colony by 
the settler's name of birch ; also the oak, laurel, myrtle, heaths, palms, 
ferns, grasses, etc. 

It is now recognised by geologists that coal could form at any 
period of the earth's history if the necessary conditions existed, and it is 
probable that these conditions have continued the same through all 
geological time. They were : (1) a humid, temperate climate, favouring 
the growth of a dense vegetation ; (2) flat or gently sloping, low-lying 
areas, favourable for the accumulation of thick deposits of vegetable 
humus and peaty matter ; and (3) a stationary, or nearly stationary 
state of the land to permit a long-continued and uninterrupted growth 
of vegetation. 

In New Zealand our coal areas are mostly littoral, of small extent, 
and patchy, characteristics resulting principally from the insular and 
mountainous nature of the country in older tertiary times. Where the 


sides of the valleys were steep and the hills met the sea, it was 
impossible for the remains of vegetation to accumulate to any extent, 
and this explains the somewhat anomalous fact that the coal measures 
do not always contain coal. The steepness of the land during the coal 
period is also accountable for the noticeable fact that our coals often 
thin out towards the clip, and, where lying near the old rocky floor, are 
usually found to conform with the contours of its surface. 

But whether the forests which formed the coal grew on soils lying 
directly on the old basement rock, as we find is the case with those of 
the Auckland provincial district, or on the upper surface of the areas 
reclaimed from the sea. as is the case of the forests which formed the 
Shag Point and West Coast coals of the Middle Island, it happened that 
after a long period of rest, permitting the accumulation of thick deposits 
of vegetation, the land began to sink slowly, aud in course of time the 
vegetation became covered by fluviatile clays and sands, generally con- 
taining fragments of leaves and other plant remains derived from the 
vegetation which continued to flourish on the higher portions of the dry 
lands which had not become submerged. 

As the land continued to sink, the fluviatile or estuarine beds 
became covered by blue clays and greenish- coloured sands containing 
the embedded remains of the numerous mollusca, crustaceans, corals, 
whales, sharks, and other life which teemed in the seas of those times. 
In a few instances in the north of Auckland coalfields, true marine beds 
containing a varied molluscous life appear close to the roof or upper 
surface of the coal. It is difficult to look back into these old eocene 
times, and judge the conditions which prevailed in every isolated nook 
during the formation of the coal ; but examining the geological records 
(the fossil life preserved in the rocks) we arrive at the conclusion that, 
in these exceptional cases, the matter which afterwards formed the coal 
accumulated in narrow, sheltered valleys adjacent to the sea, in places 
where, after its gradual submersion, it was not subject to the action of 
streams or rivers laden with sand or mud or other detritus. 

Again pursuing the order of events which followed the deposition 
of the coal, we find that the blue clays and green sands were followed 
by shelly and coralline sands, which now form the well-known Whano-a- 
rei, Waipa, Raglan, Mokau, and Oamaru limestones. These are simply 
local names for the same limestone, which is, perhaps, one of the most 
marked, constant, and characteristic geological horizons in New Zealand, 
and seems to form the natural close of the coal formation. Now, this 
limestone is followed throughout New Zealand quite conformably by a 
great series or succession of sands and clays, which in the classification 
of the New Zealand Geological Survey possesses the generic name 
"grey marls," or " Waitemata Series." These sands and clays are 
typically developed on the shores of the "Waitemata, which has given its 
name to the rocks of this period throughout New Zealand. The Waite- 
matas, as seen at Fort Britomart or the Calliope Dock, consist of 
rapidly alternating layers of clays and soft sandstones. The presence in 
these of numerous broken plant remains, and sometimes thin, irregular 
streaks of coaly matter, together with the almost entire absence of true 
marine beds, clearly points to the prevalence of fluviatile conditions 
during their deposition. 


The sequence of events which we have traced in order to show the 
relation of the coal measures and the Waiternata beds may be more 
graphically shown as follows; — Cretaceo-tertiary formation : 1. "Waite- 
rnata sands and clays. 2. Whangarei or Oamaru limestone. 3. Marly 
clays and green sands of marine origin. 4. Fireclays and coal, with 
grits and conglomerates. 5. Basement rock. 

The Waiternata beds occur at the top of the cretaceo-tertiary 
formation, while the coal occurs at the base, the two being separated 
by two great geological horizons. This in itself might be taken as 
strong evidence that no coal of a workable nature would be found in 
the Waitematas ; but we have seen that the coal could form at any 
geological period if the necessaiy conditions existed. We, however, 
receive little encouragement from this source, as the rapidly alternating 
character of the Waiternata deposits would tend to show that dynamic 
forces were at work during this period, causing frequent oscillations of 
the land, thus preventing the accumulation of sufficient vegetable 
matter at any period to form workable coal seams. 

Workable seams of coal exist on the flanks of the Hunua Range, 
and dip in the direction of the Waiternata, but it is doubtful if they 
reach as far as Auckland ; and, if they do, they would certainly be 
found at a great depth — probably not much under 800 or 1,000 feet — 
judging from the thickness of strata which is known to exist between 
the Waitematas and the coal at other places. 

Auckland stands in the centre of a great syncline or trough, and 
the depth to be penetrated there would be greater than at any other 
point. Towards Howick on the one side and Riverhead on the other 
the depth of strata to be passed through gradually decreases, until on 
the flanks of the Hunua and Maraetai Ranges the coal crops out on the 
surface. In the case of the upper reaches of the Waiternata, wherever 
the old floor or basement rock is found at or near the surface, and 
whether it is composed of hydraulic limestone or slaty shales, a careful 
search should be made for indications of coal, for it was on such old 
floors that the coal vegetatien grew and flourished in older tertiary 

If, therefore, there is a probability of coal on the shores of the 
Waiternata, it will be found in the upper reaches, in the direction of 
Riverhead, where the edges of the lower members of cretaceo-tertiary 
formation are upturned against the basement rock. 


(Bead at the Meeting of the Boyal Society of New South Wales on July 1st, 1891/ 

Last year I exhibited various photographs of stars and nebula} 
taken with a portrait camera with a focus of 32 in., and I am now 
able to show you some of the same objects photographed with the 
new star camera of 135 in. focus. One could hardly realise the 


extraordinary difference between the two without seeing it ; and I 
am further able to show you the result of taking a star cluster with 
an enlarging lens which makes the equivalent focus 564 in. or 47 ft. 
The success of this new departure is very gratifying, because it shows 
how much may be added to our knowledge of star clusters by this 
method of direct enlargement. When possible it is much better to 
enlarge in the camera at once than to enlarge the photograph after 
it is taken, because there are always blemishes in the surface used 
for the photograph which get enlarged with the picture. The first 
photograph of Kappa Crucis did not cover a space of one-tenth of an 
inch square, the star camera makes it 18 times larger and the 
enlarging lens 324 times larger. Where extreme accuracy for 
measurement is required, as in these cases, the gain is even greater 
than these numbers indicate, and under the microscope the magnified 
image may be again magnified 50 times. The smaller one will 
bear no greater power because it is the imperfections in the surface 
and image that limit the magnifying power that can be used, the 
faults of the photo, surface being relatively so much less important in 
the enlarged picture than in the small one, and this photo., with the 
enlarging lens, speaks volumes for the stability and accurate motion of 
the telescope which on such a large scale gives perfectly sharp star 
discs. The clearness of these star discs affords also a good test of the 
effect of colour, and there are many coloured stars in it to indicate 
what T mean ; it will suffice to indicate two stars — a red and a blue ; 
the red star is fully a magnitude brighter than the blue. Herschel 
called it 9th magnitude, and the blue one 10th magnitude; the red 
one in the photograph appears of the 11th magnitude, or two 
magnitudes less, and the blue one appears of 9 th, or one magnitude 
greater, or, in other words, the difference in colour, as estimated by 
the eye and the photograph, makes a difference of 3 magnitudes. 
I think the members are aware that the photographs T exhibited here 
last year were made with a 6 in. Dalmeyer portrait lens, and my 
object now is to bring before you the state of preparedness of the star 
camera for the work of charting the heavens, and some examples of 
the actual work, at least plates taken of the dimensions and conditions 
of the actual plates, and only differing from them in that the reseau 
or grating of lines, though ruled and made by the same machine as 
those that are to be used, has not been tested in Europe, as all must 
be before they are accepted. The one I have was courteously sent to 
me by Admiral Mouchez, the Director of the Paris Observatory, 
untested, as a sample : the process of testing those to be used being a 
tedious one, and it will therefore be still some time before the 
approved ones are available, but for our present purpose it answers 
admirably. It consists of a piece of plate glass with a thick coating 
of silver from solution on one side. On this silver two sets of fines at 
right angles have been ruled with a sharp point which has cut the 
silver through ; these lines are about yu of an inch apart, equal to 5 
minutes of an arc. Each line is numbered. This reseau is used in 
this way : it is placed face upward in a box the exact counterpart of 
the plate-holder in the telescope, upon this is then placed a sensitive 
plate and the box is then closed and put in front of the object glass 
of the camera. A small electric lamp of 2h candles is then placed in 


the focus of the star camera and the rays from it pass out from the 
object-glass parallel, and falling on the silvered reseau are stopped in 
aU places except where it is cut through by lines and figures and 
there it passes on to the sensitive plate and marks it. A number of 
plates are so treated one after the other and stored ready for use in 
dark boxes. They are all carefully numbered on the glass and taken 
out in order and exposed in the star camera on fine nights. The 
plates are 6 \ by 6 \ inches, and the part actually exposed 6 by 6 
inches; of this space 4-7 by 4-7 inches is the part which is finally 
used, that is 2- by 2\ The margin, rather more than \ in., is to be 
for overlap on the plates, and the stars on this can be compared for 
verification in each adjoining pair of plates. When the plate is 
developed after exposure the lines (or grating), as well as the stars, 
appear. So far everything is simple and mechanical ; but the 
resolutions of the conference require that one set of plates shall have 
on them all stars to the 1 1 th magnitude, and the other set all stars 
to the 14th magnitude, and the difficulty is in an ever-changing 
atmosphere, and with plates variable in sensitivenesss to give the 
exposure necessary to secure these results. The Astronomer Roj-al 
for England, as chairman of the committee appointed to deal with 
these and other kindred questions, has been making experiments on 
a fairly good night in London, and has come to the conclusion that 
two minutes will be enough in such weather for stars of 11th 
magnitude, and 30 minutes enough for stars of 14th magnitude, and 
that these times must be modified by the weather — that is, increased 
if the weather is bad. I am able to show you three plates exposed 
30 seconds, two minutes, and 30 minutes respectively on the well- 
known star cluster Kappa Crucis. You will see that 30 seconds is 
enough to get images of stars to the ninth magnitude, and that two 
minutes gives images of stars to the 11th magnitude, and takes in a 
number of 12th and one of 13th magnitudes ; but the plate exposed 
for 30 minutes is not so satisfactory. It should, according to the 
rule, show with defined discs stars of the 14th magnitude of 
Argelander's scale ; in Herschel's monograph of this cluster he has 
11 stars of the 14th magnitude, and four of the 15th ; of these, eight 
are invisible, six are visible, but not measureable, and only one is as 
it ought to, "measureable"; and there are some stars of 12th and 
13th magnitude that are not measureable. The plates were exposed 
one after the other on a night that seemed to be uniform, and when 
the two-minutes' plate was a success, the 30 minutes' ought also to 
have been. I give the result of this experiment to show the difficulty. 
At first sight this looks like a failure of the method ; but I find on 
further investigation that these faint stars in Herschel's list are 
either much fainter than he took them for, or they are coloured 
stars. The matter was tested by taking a photograph of the same 
object and giving three hours exposure ; even then most of the stars 
referred to above are far too faint to measure, although they can be 
be seen plainly enough in nearly every instance, and the photograph, 
hurriedly examined to see if the faint stars were on it, is found to 
contain at least 20 more faint stars which Herschel did not see. 
This example will serve to show you better than any statement the 
difficulty to be met, according to the adopted rule, viz., if two 


minutes' exposure records stars of the 11th magnitude, then 30 to 35 
minutes should record those of 1 4th ; but here in the case of a well 
known cluster, with every star recorded by a careful observer, it is 
found that the rule fails, and the question arises, Did he over-estimate 
these stars or did the rule fail ? Over nearly the whole surface of the 
sky we have no record of stars below the 9 th magnitude, and therefore 
no means of finding whether the photographs do really record what 
is desired, that is, stars of 14th magnitude, and it is obvious that 
more experiments will have to be made upon well-known clusters, and 
thus determine the time necessary for the purpose of making certain 
of 14th magnitude stars; when that is done, however, we shall have 
in the photographs a vast number of stars of the 14th magnitude 
which the eye cannot see through the telescope, just as I found in 
Kappa cruris. The extended exposure in order to secure visible 14th 
magnitude stars ended in recording a large number of stars photo- 
graphically as bright as them, but wholly invisible through the 
telescope. At the recent meeting of the committee it was decided, 
on the evidence given by Dr. Scheiner, to extend the time of exposure 
to 40 minutes, and it is reasonable to expect that, since all are 
interested and working at this point, it will soon be decided, and 
times of exposure agreed upon for different states of the atmosphere 
which will ensure uniformity. At present there seeme to be no 
possibility of dealing with the colour difficulty, which is a serious one, 
as I have already pointed out. Great differences are found also in 
the sensitive plates. We have tried Swan's, Wrotton and Wain- 
wright's, Field Dodgson's star plates, M.A. seed plate (American), 
and Ilford plates ; and the Ilford plates are certainty the best for our 
purpose. The American plates are, perhaps, less liable to fog, and 
work very cleanly and regularly ; but they are not so sensitive, and 
the gelatine is not so firm. Again, in my photos of the great 
Magellan cloud, taken with the portrait camera which I exhibited at 
the November meeting, the stars, owing to their countless numbers, 
are condensed into a blurred mass, and the great and remarkable 
nebula 30 Doradus is only a white spot. With the star camera the 
picture is all enlarged ten times, and the stars are separated and 
brought out sharply defined, while the nebula 30 Doradus is revealed 
in all its wonderful complexity, and shown to be much more extensive 
than Herschel made it with his great reflector, and quite a new light 
is brought out regarding the structure of this object. There is one 
thing about this nebula that is very suggestive. Some of its loops 
are quite round, and all its features seem to be laid out as if in a 
plane at right angles to the line of sight. There is no sign of 
elliptical forms, which so commonly appear in nebula?, owing to their 
circular forms being oblique to the line of sight, and therefore pro- 
jected into ellipses. If we look at the main features of Nubecula 
major the same remark is applicable : the curves are nearly circles, 
both those in the main body of it and in the several star clusters and 
nebula ; they all, in fact, seem to lie at right angles, or nearly so, 
to the line of sight. Now, just as the sun with his attendant planets, 
and the planets with their moons, and especially Saturn, with his 
rings, show us that there has been a tendency, as theory would also 
lead us to expect, to arrange the matter that is revolving about them 


in a plane common to all ; and, as it is also evidently the case with 
spiral nebula?, the matter is arranged in a plane, of which the 
diameter is enormously greater than the thickness, so I think we 
may safely assume that the Nubecula major is a great spiral struc- 
ture, of which we see the greatest diameter, and that its thickness, 
measured through in the line of vision, is comparatively small. Now, 
in addition to the main central spiral, there are two nebula?, and at 
least three clusters of stars arranged as spirals, having the same 
characters as the main one, that is nearly circular, and these are all 
arranged in space so that they appear to us in the same or parallel 
planes and near together ; and it may, I think, be safely assumed that 
all are parts of the grandest spiral structure that we know, and all in 
one plane, because if they are not in the same plane, then, being 
optically close together and in parallel planes, they must be arranged 
one after the other in a long vista which happens to be in our line of 
sight, that is, a series of great spirals one behind the other at 
different distances towards infinity, and all revolving as if on a 
common or parallel axis, a conclusion which is highly improbable, 
and impossible to receive when the simple and more rational alter- 
native of their being all in the same plane is available. Now, 
accepting the condition of their all being in the same plane, imagine 
what we should see if transported to some star near the centre. All 
round us would be an infinity of stars, which, on closer inspection, 
would seem more crowded together in a great plane, and in the same 
plane we should see two nebula; like straight lines, because looking at 
them from the plane in which they revolved, in some directions the 
stars would be relatively thinner than in others, because in those the 
extensions of them are not so great, and there would also be apparent 
rifts owing to the dark spaces in the great spiral, where we would 
seem to see into the infinity beyond to other systems, with their 
nebula? and star clusters at all angles. If you look at the photograph, 
and assume, as I have done above, that the whole universe of stars is 
spread out in the plane of the photograph, you will see that there 
would be no difficulty in finding positions from which the observer 
would see through some of the comparatively dark places, as well as 
in other directions in which countless multitudes of stars of all magni- 
tudes would meet the gaze. In fact, his vision would be much the 
same as ours — in one plane, that of the whole universe. There would 
be an inconceivable wealth of stars, with here and there dark spaces, 
coal sacks, due to the dark rifts above referred to ; and looking out of 
that plane the number of stars would decrease, although they would 
still be abundant. Now, although amongst the infinitude of heaven 
we cannot find two star clusters or two nebula? alike, we can still find 
classes of different kinds which have many points in common, and I 
think we have here reasonable ground for supposing that Ave have 
presented to us in the Nubecula Major a universe similar to that in 
which we are, and that instead of seeing it from within, where it is 
impossible to make out its form, we are here, with the aid of teles- 
copes and the still more powerful star camera, able to see just such a 
universe, to trace out a rational explanation of the many puzzling 
features of the stars and milky way around us, and to see how such a 
universe may be arranged. In reference to another well-known 


southern object, "the nebula about Eta Argus," it will be remem- 
bered that last session I exhibited a photograph of it with three 
hours' exposure, stating that it had not been exposed long enough. 
On April 9, 1891, I obtained a clear night and an exposure of eight 
hours ; again, with the short camera, which brings out a host of stars 
and show T s the milky way with a brilliance it has never been seen to 
have before, at the same time the nebula is more distinctly shown and 
larger ; and in reference to this object — also after a series of trials — 
I have succeeded in getting several fine photos with the star camera, 
which make it 1 8 times larger than the one T used last year. I have 
been unable to get a continuous exposure of eight hours with this 
camera; still, in plate 77, taken March 18, 1891, with 5 hours 43 
minutes exposure on a fine clear night, and in others taken about the 
same time, we have a marvellous revelation of the striking details of 
light and shade in this object, which have never been seen before in 
any photograph or by any telescope. I fear to attempt a description 
of what can be seen only in the photograph ; the general form is the 
same as in drawings and in the photos exhibited last session, but 
there are certain main features which may be indicated. In the first 
place, there is evidence here that the nebula is much more extended, 
and the indications of spiral structure are more decided, and are seen 
to extend even to the details of the familiar branches. The nebula 
covers a much larger area than that of Orion, and in passing I may 
mention that it proves conclusively that a conspicuous part of the 
nebula, which Herschel drew and described in 1838, has entirely 
disappeared, as I pointed out in 1872 ; but as I then used a telescope 
inferior in power to Herschel' s, its invisibility to me was not proof 
that it was gone. Now the star camera is vastly more powerful than 
Herschel's telescope, therefore how much may be judged from the 
fact that in one small space, where he could see only one star, the 
camera shows 10 ; and in another place examined by Herschel with 
equal care, and said to contain four stars, the camera shows 20. 
There can then, T think, be no doubt that in this case a bright nebu- 
lous mass has entirely disappeared in 34 years, and it is significant 
that the part of the nebula where it was is now replaced by a dark 
round spot ; the decided folds of the nebula visible here in 1838 have 
entirely disappeared. I have photographed the object many times 
with both cameras, and the dark spot is always there. Can it be that 
in the 34 years, 1838 to 1872, one of the supposed dark clouds of 
space has drifted in between us and the nebula? It cannot be a solid 
body because the stars are there ; but a slight misty body would hide 
the nebula and not affect the stars very much. It would be tedious 
to attempt to describe the details which the photograph shows, 
especially to the central part of the nebula ; but I may say that while 
the eye, aided by the best telescopes, sees the nebula of fairly uniform 
brightness interrupted by certain well-known darker spaces, and 
especially by that which Herschel calls the Lemniscate, much the 
same, in fact, as the great nebula in Orion, and just as the photos of 
that nebula reveal a sort of texture in the nebulous mass — as if it 
were made up of a series of curved bands of nebulous light — so this 
photo of the nebula about Eta Argus shows a most complex structure 
of the same character, and with a greater variety of light and shade ; 


and just as in the case of the nebula in Orion, the nebula with its vast 
folds is shown to extend farther from the centre with each increase in 
the time of exposure, so I find with that about Eta Argus, only the 
southern nebula is very much more difficult to photograph ; and I 
think it must have some tinge of colour in it, probably yellow, while 
that in Orion is green, for a photo of Orion with one hour's exposure 
is more dense than one of Eta Argus with six hour's exposure. 
Taken as a whole the nebula about Eta Major covers a much larger 
space than that about Orion, even in these photographs, which 
indicate that although the southern nebula was longer exposed it is 
comparatively under exposed ; for the central parts of Orion are much 
over exposed. I have also brought to show you two photos of the 
moon, taken on 19 th and 28th of May last. As you are all aware it is 
extremely rare to get a night in which there is absolutely no motion 
or what is called twinkle in the stars, or in other words, when the 
earth's atmosphere is not disturbed by currents of unequal tempe- 
rature. Now until we get such a night and a suitable moon it will 
be impossible to get a perfect photograph of the moon, for any motion 
in the air such as that referred to has the effect of enlarging every 
point of light. For instance, a star image may be made two or three 
times its normal size, and if the stars are close together they are run 
into one blotch. So on the moon, all the little details are enlarged 
and mixed up, so that they cannot be seen. But these photos are 
very good, and show some features of the moon's surface which I have 
never seen in any other photograph — for instance, the undulations on 
the surface of the lunar plains — the equivalent to what we should call 
hills and valleys, as opposed to mountains. 


The twenty-second volume of the Transactions and Proceedings 
of the New Zealand Institute, although bearing the usual imprint 
"Issued May, 1891," has only recently been distributed to the 
members, and consequently an opportunity has not offered of noticing 
the contents in this magazine until the present issue. 

A considerable proportion of the papers are on zoological 
subjects and the matters noted form a considerable addition to our 
knowledge of the interesting fauna of New Zealand. Mr. Maskell 
not only adds considerably to the already long list of native coccids, 
but describes and figures species from Australia and Fiji. I notice 
that Mr. Maskell states that the fire at the Government Printing 
Office destroyed nearly all the remaining copies of his book on the 
Scale Insects of New Zealand, issued in 1887. Those who have the 
good fortune to possess a copy, should take care of it. 

Another paper on a pest too well known to fruit growers — the 
Codlin moth — by Mr. G. V. Hudson, points out the lines on Avhich 
observations are required to grapple thoroughly with this serious 
nuisance. Mr. Hudson has also worked up the long.neglected New 
Zealand glowworm and the Cicada;. Mr. Jas. Hudson records two 
observations on Coccids in the Nelson district. 


As a country of pre-eminent ornithologic interest, New Zealand 
still keeps up its reputation. Although, but a short time has passed 
since the issue of the magnificent second edition of Sir Walter 
Buller's Birds of New Zealand, we find several new species described 
and recognized by Sir Walter, and Mr. Cheeseman has placed on our 
list the birds of the Kermadec Group recently included in our 
political area. Other observers have contributed just the kind of 
short notes from personal observation, which are so frequently 
thought "■ not Avorth writing about," but which in the aggregate 
greatty increase the sum of our knowledge. Quite a tempest, not to 
say a storm in a teacup, seems raging between two members in re 
" Kakapo versus Takahe." Mr. Suter continues his patient labours on 
the interesting, though small, land shells of New Zealand, and, what 
is much to the point, adds to his descriptions excellent drawings of 
the species, which however do not receive justice at the hands of the 

In a concise and yet useful form Professor Hutton prints a 
revised list of the New Zealand Bryozoa up to date, work which has 
been rendered possible by the invaluable Synonymic List of the 
described species of Bryozoa, lately published in England by Miss E. 
0. Jelly, a lady who has laboured for many years in this branch of 
Natural Science, and has greatly simplified the labours of future 
students. A large number of the tertiary species from New Zealand 
are now described in various publications. When shall we ever get 
a systematic description of the thousands of fossil mollusca, &c, 
which have been accumulated by the Geological Survey officials at 
Wellington ? Only Echo answers, When ! 

From a biological point of view the short paper on the Origin of 
the Sternum, by Professor Parker is of great interest, and Mr. 
Beattie's observations on the extraordinary variation in the fin 
formula of the Red Cod furnish much material for speculation. 

Spiders, though they be but a feeble folk, take a great deal of 
describing. Sixty-one closely printed pages to describe thirty- four 
spiders ! Some years ago spiders abounded in the district in which I 
lived, a hundred kinds at least, probably all undescribecl ; here is 
work for the industrious ! 

One of the great sea monsters has paid us a visit during the year 
and enabled the Curator of the Auckland Museum to " put him on 
the list ;" he was comparatively a small specimen, only 34 feet long, 
so "he never Avill be missed." I am afraid to put down in black and 
white the reputed measurements of individuals of this species (the 
Basking Shark) ; they are much too great to be swallowed. Within 
the past few weeks a strange sea monster has been reported off 
the East Coast of the North Island, let us hope that it may fall to 
the lot of our zealous Curator to add this, as yet somewhat mythical 
monster to the Otago Museum, even if the Council have to erect an 
extra length of tin shed to exhibit it in. 

Two members of our local Society contribute papers on the 
Crustacean fauna of New Zealand ; in the one instance clearing some 
points in the History of Squilla and Nerocila, and in the other adding 
to the list of Fish Parasites. 

REVIEW. 2 I 9 

In the forefront of the Geological section is placed a translation 
of the monograph by Baron von Ettingshausen on the Fossil Flora of 
New Zealand. This furnishes the student with a full translation of 
the original memoir in German — the plates have also been redrawn 
and reduced. It seems somewhat startling to find a flora in the Shag 
Valley containing a palm and two species of kauri, an oak, an elm 
and an alder. 

On the local stratigraphical geology of the Tertiary series in 
Hawkes Bay, Mr. Hill splinters lances with the Geological Survey. 

The question of the Moa seems reviving again, and we have two 
short notes on the subject by the Curator of the Canterbury Museum. 
The papers in this section number eleven and are all interesting. 

In Botany, Messrs. T. Kirk, W. Colenso, Cheeseman, and Petrie 
contribute papers and make considerable additions to the flora ; the 
paper on the endemic group of Olearias with solitary or racemose 
flower heads, will, no doubt, appeal strongly to horticulturalists, as 
all the species are handsome and easily cultivated. 

The fourth and concluding section is very appropriately headed, 
Miscellaneous. There are, however, two articles of sterling interest, 
one on the Story of John Rutherford, and the other on the Outlying 
Islands of New Zealand ; most of the others serve -to produce a 
volume of unusual bulk. 

The great disappointment in the volume is the small number of 
new names in the list of contributors of papers, the same names 
running through the volumes year after year. All honour to those 
who keep their shoulder to the wheel and work in their harness, 
but where are their imitators ? There is still an almost virgin field of 
research of every kind, but the rising generation seems in earnest in 
nothing but close and willing study of the motions of a particularly 
prolate spheroid, in a field containing as essentials, objects called 
goals. Certainly the pursuit of this study strengthens the body and 
is commendable, in moderation, but there are times and places for all 

A. H. 



(Read at the Meeting of the Australasian Association for th 3 Advancement of Science, 

in Christchurch.) 


Ice as a geological agent may be divided into land-ice and 
floating-ice ; each of which may be again subdivided — the first into 
glacier-ice and ice-sheet, the second into ice-berg and ice-floe, or 

Glaciers occur only in valleys among mountains. They may 
«xist in any latitude provided the mountains are high enough. At 
the present time the glaciers of Antisana and Illiniss?, in Ecuador, 


and of Kilimanjaro in Africa, are almost on the equator ; but there is 
no well authenticated account of glaciers having existed in the tropics 
during the pleistocene period. 

Ice-sheets are at present confined to polar regions, extending to 
63° N. in Greenland and to 66° S. on the Antarctic continent. 
During the pleistocene period an ice-sheet extended in North America 
as far south as the junction of the Ohio with the Mississippi — in 
37° 30' N., and in Europe to 50 u N. 

Shore-ice is found in high latitudes only. Coast-ice is broken up 
into rafts or floes in summer, and these floes are often driven on 
shore and piled up in gales of wind. 

Ice-bergs penetrate to about 40° N. and 40° S., but they are 
isolated. Pack-ice, formed of united ice-bergs, occurs only in high 
latitudes. It is often called Floe-berg. 


Roches moutonnees are characteristic of land-ice, and generally 
shew a difference between the strike side and the lee side. They are 
counterfeited by the weathering of homogeneous eruptive rocks — 
such as granite — especially where a concentric structure has been 

Ice-scratches and grooves on bed rock — formed by land-ice or by 
iloating-ice. Those formed by floating-ice are rarely straight, and 
may be much curved. Those formed by land-ice are straight or 
slightly curved ; they occur on surfaces which may be horizontal, 
inclined, vertical, or ■ even overhanging ; and also on curved or 
inamillated surfaces. The counterfeits are slickensides ; rain grooves 
in calcareous rocks ; and sand drift grooves. 

Ice-scratched stones. These are common in boulder clay, which 
is supposed to be the ground moraine of an ice-sheet, but are rare in 
the remains of glaciers. Often the scratched stones are rounded by 
water-wear, and scratched all over, but sometimes they are facetted 
on the scratched side. Shore-ice causes irregular shallow scratchings 
only. They are counterfeited by stones in fault rock, by stones in 
landslips or even those that have undergone soil cap action only. 
But these stones are never facetted and the scratchings are usually 
irregular and shallow. In some cases of basic eruptive rocks, 
irregular decomposition produces apparent scratches and grooves. 
Facetting is produced by sand drift, but the facets are generally 

Kettle-holes are small basin shaped depressions in gravel or in 
morainic matter, caused by the melting of detached blocks of ice 
which have been covered up by detritus. 

Giant Kettles, or Pot-holes, are cylindrical holes worn out in solid 
ro3k by the friction of stones under waterfalls or glaciers. 

Moraines are always present in recently glaciated districts ; and 
are among the most permanent of ice-marks. Nearly all glaciers 
leave behind them a terminal moraine across the valley ; and in 
North America a large moraine marks the front of the old ice-sheet. 
Counterfeits are landslips, but these can generally be distinguished 


from terminal moraines by their position. Lateral moraines are more 
likely to be imitated by landslips. 

Till Deposits. — There are three types of till, but they are often 
mixed. (1) Sub-glacial till, or Boulder clay. A compact, tough clay 
•with unassorted sand, gravel, and numerous boulders : the fragments 
not much weathered but rounded, often scratched and sometimes 
facetted. The fragments are mostly derived irorn the immediate 
neighbourhood, but partly from a distance, sometimes up to several 
hundreds of miles, This is a ground moraine, and the subjacent rock 
is alw T ays planed, polished, and striated or grooved. (2) Surface till, 
or moraine till. This lies on the first and is more sandy and looser 
but unassorted. The rock fragments are larger, more angular, rarely 
scratched, and more decomposed than those of the Boulder clay. 
This till is probably surface moraine of the ice-sheet which has been 
left when the ice melted. (3) Floe till, or berg till. This is composed 
of more or less assorted sand, and clay indistinctly laminated and 
containing erratics often scratched. It is either marine or else has 
been formed in lakes round the end of the ice. Large boulders are 
sometimes rare. Counterfeits of till are not common. Nevertheless 
in regions of severe and sudden storms boulders four feet or more in 
diameter are known to have been transported by the rush of water 
and left in the midst of mud and fine sand. During the flood in the 
Waimakariri on the 18th March, 1888, at Kaiapoi, several 30-ton 
blocks of concrete were carried for nearly a quarter of a mile and 
buried in sand. 

Karnes. These are narrow ridges, 20 to 50 feet high, formed of 
rounded gravel and sand discordantly stratified, the stratification 
often conforming to the surface, thus proving that they are not due 
to denudation. They commonly contain large boulders. Sometimes 
two run together and form a valley without an outlet. Generally 
they pass into terraces. They are found at the mouths of valleys and 
are more or less transverse to it. They are also always associated 
with moraines. They are, no doubt, due to violent currents of water 
operating near the front of a glacier and are probably the fans of 
glacier rivers. 

Otars, or Serpent Karnes are longitudinal to the valley, and the 
materials composing them have come from greater distances than 
those of the neighbouring till. No doubt they have been formed by 
glacial, perhaps sub-glacial streams. 

Drumlins are elliptical hills with steep sides and rounded tops 
formed of morainic matter, the long axis always in the direction of 
movement of the former glacier. Probably due to ice riding over old 

Perched Blocks, often in precarious positions on the tops or sides 
of hills or mounds, are very characteristic of ice action. They may 
occasionally, but not often, be counterfeited by blocks brought down 
by landslips. 

Erratics. May be merely blocks, larger than water could move, 
brought down a valley. Or they may be blocks which have been 
lifted up above their place of origin. Or they may be blocks which 


have passed out of one drainage system into another. The first is 
characteristic of land-ice, the second of shore-ice, and the third of ice- 
bergs. Counterfeits : Small erratics may be borne on floating trees 
or seaweed, consequently their value as evidence of ice depends much 
on their size. Ships' ballast may also sometimes counterfeit erratics. 
Ships have been unloaded and careened in many a bay, and have 
again left with part of their ballast on shore. 

Cirques. The origin of cirques by ice-action is doubted by many; 
but true cirques appear to be confined to glaciated regions. Very 
close imitations may, however, be brought about by stream erosion, 
and occasionally they might be imitated by lateral craters. 

Rock-basins are generally found on a surface which has been 
formerly glaciated. The terminal moraine of a glacier marks a point 
in the valley where no erosion is taking place. Below this point the 
river gradually deepens its channel, while above it the glacier slowly 
decreases the slope of the valley ; and, however slow a process glacier 
erosion may be, a rock-basin will, in time, be hollowed out behind the 
moraine. Rock-basins can also be formed in an arid country by the 
atmospheric decomposition of level surfaces of rock, the products of 
decomposition being blown away by the wind. If the climate changes 
these rock-basins might become lakes ; but, evidently lakes with this 
origin must be of rare occurrence. Other rock-basins are due to 
unequal movements of the land. 

Evidence of former Ice-action. 

Evidence of the former presence of glaciers consists of terminal 
and lateral moraines — especially the former. Roches moutonnees and 
striations occur in the valleys only. A former ice-sheet is marked by 
a ground moraine of boulder clay and till with scratched stones, as 
well as by groovings and striations on plains and the tops of hills. 
Evidence of ice-bergs consists in large erratics, widely scattered and 
brought from long distances towards the equator. Former ice-floe is 
known by partially stratified till with marine shells. 

Evidence of the former presence of glaciers in a country where 
they no longer exist is not sufficient evidence to prove a former glacial 
epoch ; for the glaciers may have been due to greater elevation and 
precipitation of snow. There must also be evidence of a former ice- 
sheet or floe-ice, widely spread over a large extent of country- A 
reduction of temperature sufficient to cause a glacial epoch, would 
necessarily be accompanied by a change in the fauna and flora, and 
we must expect to find evidence of this also. On the other hand if 
there is evidence that no extinction of a former flora or fauna and the 
introduction of newer ones has taken place, then we have a very good 
reason for concluding that no glacial epoch has occurred. In tertiary, 
and more particularly post-tertiary times, evidence of a glacial epoch 
should be abundant and general. In older periods it is more difficult 
to get evidence, but under any circumstances it is unsafe to rely on a 
few isolated cases of supposed evidence, which may be deceptive. 



An Interesting Point in Polynesian Ethnology. — In Dr. A. 
Lesson's interesting account of the Mangareva or Gambier Archipelago 
published at Rochefort in 1843, we find a brief description of the flora 
and fauna of those isles, with the native names added. This is 
information which is not always supplied by naturalists, though the 
interest is much increased thereby, especially to those whose studies 
lead them more towards ethnology than biology. 

Among the birds described by Dr. Lesson as living in this little 
group — which is situated at the south east end of the Dangerous, Low, 
or Paumotu Archipelago, — is one which he names a Philedon, the 
native name of which is Komako. Now the interest to the ethnologist 
in this case consists in this ; that we have a Philedon in New Zealand 
(Anthornis melanura,) the native name of which is — amongst others — 
Komako, better known to the settlers as the Bell Bird, and whose 
sweet morning notes were at one time heard in every bush in the 
colony, although now, alas ! it is never heard in the North Island. 
The species may be- -indeed probably is — not the same in both countries, 
but the fact remains that the two birds are sufficiently alike to have 
given rise to a common native name as applied by peoples separated by 
so great a stretch of ocean as New Zealand and the Gambier Islands, a 
distance of about 3,500 miles. The question arises, how did these two 
peoples come to give the same name to the bird 1 Both of them are 
branches of the great Polynesian race, both speaking a language which 
in many respects is nearer, the one to the other, than that of people 
who are their nearer neighbours. It has never been suggested that they 
ever had direct communication with one another since inhabiting their 
present homes ; we must therefore conclude that both people knew the 
bird, or a somewhat similar one, in some place where their ancestors 
lived together. In Tahiti, we find from R. P. Lesson's "Voyage 
autour du Monde " in the French exploring vessel " Coquille " that 
there is a bird there called Omaomao, a word at first sight not much like 
Komako, but if we remember that the Tahitians have in process of time 
lost the power of pronouncing the " k," we find that by replacing 
it, that Omaomao becomes Komakomako, identical with one of the 
commonest names the Maori has for the Bell Bird. The Tahitian bird 
however, is not a Philedon, but the Muscicarpa pomarea, a species of 
flycatcher. The same name is given by Finsch and Hautleb to the 
Tatare longirostris, a thrush-like bird, also a native of Tahiti. In 
Samoa we find the Septorius samoensis bearing nearly the same name, 
viz. : Maomdo, which again, if we supply the " k," missing from the 
Samoan dialect, becomes Makomako one of the most common of the 
Maori names for the Bell Bird. The Sfpborius is a honey eater, like 
our Anthornis. "All this tends to confirm what has been deduced from 
so many other lines of reasoning, viz. : that the Polynesians spread from 
Samoa eastward to Tahiti and the Society Islands, and from thence 
again in many directions, including both that of the Gambier Group 
and New Zealand. The evidence from the geographical point of view 
of the Tahitian, or rather Raiatean origin of the Maori will be found in 


a paper by the writer in the forthcoming volume of '• Transactions of 
the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science." A wide 
field opens up to anyone who will study the native names of the fauna 
and flora of the Polynesian islands, and it will surprise those who have 
not paid any attention to the matter, to find many of our common 
Maori names of plants, birds, fish, insects, etc., known all over the 
Pacific, and applied to the same, or nearly the same species. — S. Percy 

Notes on Eels. — The following notes of occurrences which I 
witnessed myself will perhaps throw some light on the question as to 
whether eels go to sea to breed, and as to the possibility of their 
overcoming difficulties which might seem at first sight beyond their 
powers. There is a fine stream at the Bay of Islands named Waitangi, 
the waters of which contain eels in abundance from its source to its 
mouth. .It joins the sea at Waitangi (near where the celebrated Treaty 
was signed), and there it falls about 30 feet ovjr an old lava flow, the 
face of which is quite perpendicular and even overhanging. The 
channel is about 50 yards wide on the top of the falls, but ordinarily 
the water does not occupy the whole bed. Places are therefore left 
dry, or over which a very thin coating of water serves to keep the rough 
surface of the basaltic rock quite wet with little running streams here 
and there. In 1874, I observed the surface of the rock where the 
water was trickling over it, to be covered with hundreds of tiny eels 
averaging from two inches to sis inches in length, wriggling their 
way up the perpendicular face of the rock, and making headway 
against the the thin rill of falling water from above. The water in 
the basin below the fall is salt, or nearly so, as the tide flows up to 
the foot of the fall. The rock in this instance is quite rough, as all 
basaltic rocks are, and it is no doubt due to this roughness that 
the eels are able to ascend. The Maoris told me they were well 
acquainted with the fact, and that they often scrape the little eels 
into baskets for food. I would not have believed it possible that eels 
could have ascended this perpendicular face had I not witnessed it. 

A considerable portion of the main Chatham Island is occupied 
by a lagoon named Te Whanga, the water of which is brackish, but 
which has no permanent connection with the sea, except perhaps by 
infiltration iu two places, where its margins neaidy approach the 
ocean. At one of these places named Te Awa patiki, there is a wide, 
dry channel connecting the lagoon with the sea beach, and here at 
rare intervals and during heavy north-east gales the sea makes a 
breach into the lagoon. This channel is about ten chains wide, and 
ordinarily is occupied by dry, soft sand. In 18G8, when riding past 
there I found that the sea had risen over the ordinary level and had 
been running into the lagoon, but as it was low water the channel 
was again quite dry. In one part, a small arm of the lagoon extended 
towards the sea, but ceased at a hundred yards from high water 
mark. This arm was about 20 feet wide and. 2 feet deep. To my 
great surprise I found it to be full of a wriggling, seething mass of 
live eels, some of very large size, as much indeed as three or four feet 
long, whilst the dry sands on either side and towards the sea were 
covered thickly by dead or dying eels. The eels were so thick in the 


arm or creek that our horses refused to enter the water. Evidently 
the breaking in of the sea had attracted the eels from the neigh- 
bouring parts of the lagoon, and here they had congregated in vast 
numbers with the intention of going out to sea. Their number was a 
most astonishing thing to behold : there were several acres of dry 
sand covered with dead or dying eels, say one to the square yard, 
more or less thickly. A rare opportunity was here offered to the 
sea-gulls, which — as we rode through them — rose in such clouds that 
they cast a perceptible shade over the sands. Along the margins of 
the lagoon grows a rank sea grass, which extends out to a depth of 
three or four feet of water. In the thicker patches of this grass, the 
eels find food and shelter. So numerous are they that the Morioris 
beat the grass with clubs, quite in a random manner, and never fail 
to secure a plentiful supply in a short time. They are coarse and 
tough to the taste however. 

The congregation of the eels at this spot shows a remarkable 
instinct, by which they must have been drawn from considerable 
distances so soon as the sea began to break into the lagoon. As the 
height of the water in the lagoon was apparently the same as it had 
been a few days before, not much additional salt water could have 
flown in. How then did the fact of the inflow become communicated 
to the eels ? — S. Percy Smith. 

University Extension in New Zealand. — The population of this 
colony is far too sparse to allow of the introduction of the methods 
of University extension as carried on throughout England by the 
Cambridge University authorities. But a praiseworthy attempt has 
been made in two quarters to provide for young teachers and others in 
localities at some distance from the colleges already established, such 
a measure of university education as will enable them to pass the 
examinations prescribed for degrees by the University of New Zealand. 
The Southland Collegiate Classes Association owes its existence, we 
believe, to the efforts of Mr. Bobt. McNab, B.A., of Invercargill. It 
was started during last year with the object of promoting " sound 
learning within the District of Southland by encouraging a systematic 
course of lectures during the winter months on such subjects and within 
such limits as are laid down in the Synopsis of Classes published 
annually under the authority of the Council." The Association consists 
of the teaching staff and eight elected members, four to be elected by 
the teachers and four by the enrolled students ; and the management is 
entrusted to a Council of seven office bearers elected annually by the 
members. The annual fees charged are ten shillings and sixpence for 
each class to pupil teachers, but to others an enrolment fee of five 
shillings for the first class ami two shillings and sixpence for each 
subsequent class, together with class fees varying from ten shillings and 
sixpence to a guinea and a half. During last session, which extended 
from May to October inclusive, ninety-six students enrolled themselves. 
Lectures were delivered on the following subjects : — English, Mathe- 
matics, Latin, French, Mental Science, Physics, and Chemistry. The 
very best men available in Southland appear to have been selected as 
teachers. The Association claims already to have aided many pei'sons 


in the prosecution of their scholastic studies, and if well supported there 
is little doubt that it will prove a valuable adjunct to the cause of 
University work in the colony. 

Following the wake of the Invercargill Association, a similar 
movement has been started in Oamaru under the title of the North 
Otago Collegiate Classes Association. The conditions here are not so 
favourable, as the district is much nearer Dunedin and the population is 
smaller than that of Invercargill. The promoters have laid themselves 
out to cover an extensive field of work including Latin, English, 
German, French, Mathematics, Jurisprudence, and Political Economy. 
The only question seems to be whether a sufficient number of students 
will offer themselves to enable the classes to be continued. At the 
start the encouragement has not been great. Towns like Napier and 
Nelson offer better facilities for this kind of work than such a town as 
Oamaru, and even Wellington might hasten the day when it will have 
a properly equipped college of its own, were its educational enthusiasts 
to band themselves into an organisation somewhat on the lines already 
adopted by the Southern associations. What can be done in the way of 
accomplishing good educational work by private (as opposed to State- 
aided effort) is shown by the success attending the work of the Technical 
Classes Association in Dunedin, which in this third year of its existence 
has over three hundred voung men and women attending its classes. 

The Polynesian Society. — -An effort is being made in Wellington 
to establish a Polynesian Society, the objects of which as set forth 
in a preliminary circular are " to afford a means of communication, 
co-operation and mutual criticism between those interested in, or 
studying Polynesian anthropology, ethnology, philology, history, man- 
ners and customs of the Oceanic races, and the preservation of all that 
relates to such subjects in a permanent form." For the present it is 
proposed to afford the means of communication by the publication of a 
periodical journal, to be called the '•Journal of the Polynesian Society," 
and it is believed that 250 members each subscribing 20s. a year, will 
suffice to start the Society and carry on the publication. While 
thoroughly sympathising with the feelings of the promoters and ready 
to give what support lies in our power to their project, we cannot say 
that we are sanguine of success to the venture. Our own experience is 
that any enterprise of this kind is certain to be so poorly supported 
that it will end in financial failure. We would recommend as a much 
more feasible plan, and one mutually beneficial to all concerned, that 
the Association be formed with half the proposed annual subscription 
and that this Journal be the accredited Journal of the Society, until 
the population of these southern seas justifies the specialisation now 
proposed. In the case of this Journal we asked for a minimum of 200 
subscribers : reference to a slip inserted in this number will show how 
far the appeal has been met. — Edit. 




Wellington, 17th June, 1891.— Edward Tregear, Esq., F.R.G.S., 
President, in the chair. 

New Member. — H. Farquhar. 

A copy of Volame XXIIT. of the Transactions of the New Zealand 
Institute was laid on the table ; also proof sheets and specimen plates of 
Mr. Hudson's work on the Entomology of New Zealand. The plates 
were considered very beautiful. 

The President then delivered an address, of which the following is 
an abstract. — Mr. Tregear commenced by congratulating Sir James 
Hector on receiving the founder's medal of the Royal Geographical 
Society. He then referred to the lecent discovery of the bones cf the 
Dinornis in Queensland and remarked that soundings recently taken 
showed solid land once to have existed from New Zealand to Australia 
and through the Malay Archipelago to Asia; whether the moa had been 
evolved from the emu by gradual transformation or the emu from the 
the moa would be for the geologists and naturalists to discuss. The 
addiess then referred to the theories as to man's origin, whether from 
a single pair or from many sources ; described the primitive state of the 
human race, with the progress upward from the cave-dwellers to the 
pastoral peoples, then to cultivatoi'S of the soil, then to dwellers in 
cities. Referring to the question of marriage, the paper described the 
emergence of the communal form into the slave period and thus to the 
belief in the wife being private property of the husband. The speaker 
called attention to the agreement between anthropology and the other 
sciences as to the great lapse of time necessary for mankind to have 
existed, and to have passed through the palaeolithic and neolithic periods 
to the building of great cities, which we now know to have been in 
existence 6,000 years ago. Great portions of Asia and Africa, fertile 
and abounding in all descriptions of animal and vegetable life were still 
unsettled. Many extracts from the reports of travellers just returned 
from the wilds were read, showing the adaptability of those places to 
the uses of the emigrant. But the speaker did not believe that the 
colonization of Africa and other places in the possession of native races 
was as practicable as was generally believed. The enormous fecundity 
of the dark races, if relieved of the checks caused by bloodshed and war, 
would inevitably squeeze out the incomers and prevent men of high 
organisation existing in force sufficient to control the lower and more 
persistent racial types. Mr. Tregear concluded by expressing his 
opinion that the future of the world was not so entirely in the hands 
of intellectual nations as he had once thought, but that if the advance 
of mankind was threatened by the overflow of barbaric peoples, he 
trusted that the time of submersion would be short, and the world soon 
restime its path of progress refreshed and invigorated with new and 
stronger life. 


Sir James Hector in proposing a vote of thanks to the President 
for his most interesting address, reminded members that within the last 
few months they had been indebted to Mr. Tregear for a most useful 
addition to our local scientific literature in his Comparative Dictionary 
of the Polynesian Languages. His address showed that outside mere 
Philology Mr. Tregear was able to take a wide grasp of the great 
problems of anthropology. With the President's permission he took this 
opportunity of introducing Professor Pond, who had just arrived from 
Cambridge to take the Classical Chair in the New Zealand University 
at Auckland. 

Prof. Pond considered it a high honour that he should, on his first 
landing, have the opportunity of attending the meeting of such a 
Society. He complimented Mr. Tregear on the admirable arrangement 
of his new dictionary, — the method was excellent. He was told at 
Cambridge before leaving, that he ought to consider it a high privilege 
his being selected for his appointment in the New Zealand University 
as the Examiners in England thought most highly of the work done by 
the New Zealand students. 

Mr. Travers in seconding the vote of thanks spoke in flattering 
terms of the address. 

2. Sir James Hector exhibited a young salmon which had been 
caught in the Aparima River and forwarded to him by the Marine 
Department. He said that there could not possibly be any mistake 
with regard to the specimen being a true salmon. The fact that salmon, 
after years of fruitless experimenting, had now been acclimatised, was 
highly satisfactory, though he feared that the formation of our coast 
line was such as forbade the return of salmon to their own rivers. 
Should however the salmon prove its attachment to the streams in 
which they were hatched, the colony would have gained a most valuable 
asset and one which it would be well to protect with the greatest 

3. Sir James Hector exhibited samples of the different coals and 
rocks from the coal fields lately visited. With reference to the Black 
Bull mine a tunnel of 1,230 feet had been driven to reach the coal and 
two seams had been cut of first-class quality coal, making a total of 
20 feet thick of coal. Samples of the rocks from the tunnel were also 
described. Samples of the coal from the New Cardiff and Mohikinui 
Company's lease were exhibited, and also samples from the Kaitangata 
mine, Otago, and a number of fossils found in the new shaft at Castle 
Hill (Kaitangata), were also on the table and desci-ibed. Samples of 
coal from Orepuki were shown, together with a series of fossils from 
the Middle Waipara in the northern district of Canterbury. These 
latter were described as being geologically of the very greatest impor- 
tance on account of the presence of Belemnites australis in association 
with Dicotyledonous leaves, and in the same boulders remains of 
Leiodon haumuriensis, this being the first time that these secondary 
fossils have been found in the Canterbury District. 

Wellington, 8th July, 1891.— Edward Tregear, Esq., F.R.G.S., 
President, in the chair. 

New Member. — William Percival Evans, M.A^, Ph.D. 


Papers. — (1) "Mill on demonstration and Necessary Truth," by 
W. W. Carlile, M.A. (Abstract) In regard to the questions what 
constitute necessary truths, English opinion was much divided. Hume 
consistently put all the truths of pure mathematics in one class, truths 
of matters-of-fact in another, and thus avoided the hair-splitting and 
contradiction of the modern Humist school. Mill took all the axioms 
out of the class of necessary truths and put them into the class of 
truths of experience. Bain called " things that are equal to the same 
thing are equal to one another " a truth of experience, but not, like 
Mill " two straight lines cannot enclose a space." Mansell, a Kantian 
philosopher, precisely reversed this. Bain affirmed that the axiom 
"things that are equal to the same thing are equal to one another" was 
a generalisation from experience. In support of this he said that 
equality was properly defined as "immediate coincidence." If so, 
"coincidence" could be used convertibly with "equality," but it was 
plain that it could not. Equal lines are not lines that coincide, but 
lines that would, if superimposed, coincide, a very different matter. 
Coincidence was learnt by sense, equality only by thought. Probably 
incomprehensible to the Damaraman or Bushman. The key to the 
possibility of geometrical demonstration lay in this, in the power we 
possessed of contemplating a line, for instance, as remaining the same 
though in an altered position and environment. The want of a true 
theory of identity in the opinion of Bosanquet was the great want of 
philosophy of the English school. Spinoza asked what is the efficient 
cause of a circle, answered it was the space described by a line 
one point of which was fixed, the other moveable. We need only to 
contemplate this line, the radius, as being the same in all its positions 
to deduce all the properties of the circle. In the IV. proposition, 
Euclid plainly postulated for the mathematical figures with which he 
dealt the capacity of being lifted and moved about and put on top of 
one another, or of themselves moved as others. This was the great 
postulate of Euclid and should be prominently set forth as such, 
instead of being merely taken for granted. If it were, it would be 
seen, at a glance, that the construction in the V., the famous Pons 
Asinorum was mere surplusage. If the big triangles formed by the 
produced sides could be lifted up and put on top of one another, why 
could not the isosceles triangle itself be lifted up, reversed, and put en 
top of itself. If it were, we should have two triangles superimposed on 
one another fulfilling all the requirements of the IV. proposition. It 
was plain indeed, that a matter so simple as the equality of the angles at 
the base did not really rest on anything so far fetched as the conventional 
proof in Euclid. Mr. Mill seems always to contemplate the lines and 
figures of geometry as if they were specimens picked up in our rambles 
instead of being those which we supposed ourselves to have just con- 
structed. To sum up, with regard to necessary truths. (1) They were 
always concerned with abstractions. (2) The opposite of them was in 
the strict sense inconceivable, not merely unbelievable. (3) This was so 
because if we put their opposite in words, the last half of the proposition 
" sublated " the first. (4) They were truths which could be seen to be 
truths by merely thinking of them. (5) They were truths of sequence 
only, not of fact. That brought them face to face with a difficulty that 
might seem formidable, as of course geometrical propositions were used 


in the world of fact. The difficulty however, was not peculiar to the 
mathematical reasoning. They had seen that even what were called 
identical propositions rested on assumptions. Geometry only became of 
real interest and value when it was ascertained that propositions which 
were literally and necessarily true of the lines and circles that we 
supposed ourselves to construct were approximately true of the lines 
and circles of nature. 

Sir James Hector thanked the author for his most interesting 
paper ; it was a subject difficult to criticise until the paper had been 
carefully read. 

Mr. Maskell agreed with Sir J. Hector that the best thanks of the 
Society were due to Mr. Carlile for his excellent paper which invested 
a dry and difficult subject with much more interest than probably any- 
body expected. For himself he found several very suggestive points in 
the paper, not so much as to the particular question treated as on 
general grounds. In the first place it reminded him of what seemed to 
be the general fault of all English writers on philosophy and logic, that 
they never seemed to refer to any but English, Scotch, or a few German 
authors. Now if they would study French, Spanish, or Italian works 
also they might enlarge their views and possibly gain insight into quite 
new and correctly suggestive trains of thought. Then again Mr. 
Carlile, he thought, had attached far too much importance to the 
notions of Professor Huxley, a man who to the speaker's mind, was 
as bad a specimen of blatant assumption and of illogical absurdity 
(except of course when dealing with actual facts of natural history) as 
the modern era has to show. There was one point, only incidentally 
referred to in the paper, which would perhaps require correction. Mr. 
Carlile parenthetically remarked that the axiom that two things which 
are equal to a third are equal to each other would be incomprehensible 
to a Bushman or a Damaraman. Taken as referring to any particular 
or existing savage, this would be probably true : taken as a general 
statement, with the inference that any necessary difference exists 
between the brain and intellect of a savage and the brain and intellect 
of a cultivated Englishman it would certainly not be correct, in spite of 
the prevailing theory of the present day which usually affirms it, if not 
in terms, at least by implication. 

The President said : Greatly as he admired the work of Professor 
Huxley in the domain of natural science, he shared with others the 
regret that the learned Professor should ever step outside the limits of 
his own domain and enter the fields of politics and theology, where his 
logic was by no means unassailable. He (the president) had been struck 
with astonishment when reading Huxley many years ago to find that 
he had stated that all dream images were vague and undefined. This 
is contrary to the facts of experience with most observers. Undefined 
images might occupy the mind of one who was discussing a subject like 
" Man " from a racial point of view, but in the case of " triangle " there 
was no mental conception possible of a triangle generally ; it was 
absolutely necessary to conceive the idea of a triangle as either 
equilateral, scalene, isosceles, &c. As to necessary truths, it was almost 
certainly held that the axioms of Euclid were necessary truths, but he 
had read a clever psychological article in a recent Magazine in which it 


was asked how it was possible to possess one of these "self-evident" 
truths except by inheritance without breaking the chain of cause and 
effect. Such a statement as that " Things which are equal to the same 
thing are equal to each other " was not a " self-evident " truth ; it 
required reasoning from experience before the mind could place faith in 
it. The purely mental conception of a line as having " length without 
breadth" could not be called useless (although it could not be practically 
represented) because arithmetical figures used in trigonometry proved 
that boundaries of geometrical figures really had position but not 
magnitude (of breadth). So that this is almost a necessary truth, and 
although abstract truths were little more than hypotheses, still if they 
were " working hypotheses " they were of enormous value. He might 
instance the value of the 47th problem of the 1st book of Euclid ; the 
discoverer of the principle in this problem offered up a hetacornb of 
oxen to the gods for so great a truth being found, and it had proved of 
inestimable value to the world in astronomy, navigation, engineering, 
&c. He could understand the schoolboys' delight if allowed to prove 
the truth of the fifth problem of the first book of Euclid by turning the 
ti'iangle on its back, but he hardly thought such a simplification would 
be allowed, although many of the propositions in Euclid might be swept 
away as being evident at sight, and not made clearer by the attempted 
proof. As to Mr. Maskell's assertion that the Bosjeman or any savage 
had as much intellectual power as the civilised European, there would 
be difficulty in measuring the amount of latent power in any individual, 
but it was certain that the expression of that power was immensely 
unequal. It would be almost imj)ossible to assert with gravity that the 
mind of an African who, with great difficulty, could be taught the use 
of numbers beyond 2 or 3, was equal to any one of the minds of Bacon, 
Newton, or Herschel, although a potentiality of mind equal to great 
intellectual effort might lie unrecognised in the brain of the savage. 

Mr. Carlile, in reply, expressed his gratification at the appreciative 
criticism his paper had received. The Bresident had already explained 
some of the matter to which exception had been taken. He had not 
meant to suggest that the simplification of the proof of the V. 
proposition which he suggested in any way detracted from its validity 
and importance. There were several of the propositions at the 
becrinnino- of the first book which were rather obscured than illustrated 
by the proof furnished of them. The XIII., for instance. If we 
regarded a point in a straight line as an angle of 180°, it was certain 
that drawing any number of lines through this point could have no 
tendency to alter the size of this angle, yet this was what was 
elaborately proved. He thought a desideratum among the definitions 
was a definition of what was meant by the size of an angle. We 
proceeded to speak of the size of angles without furnishing any 
criterion for their measurement. If this were furnished, it would 
necessarily carry with it the proof of the IV., V., and VIII., and a 
host of other propositions. The size of an angle and the length of the 
subtending side in any triangle were, it seemed to him, two names for 
the same thing. There was no need of propositions to prove the fact of 
their concomitant variations. 

(2) " On the shifting of the Sand Dunes," by H. C. Field. The 
paper gave results of forty years' observations on the coast from Paika^ 


kariki to Patea, and pointed out how the country generally in this part 
of New Zealand had undergone alterations by the shifting of the sand 
through the action of the wind. The author gave data for fixing the 
rate of such movements. The paper also contained much interesting 
information regarding the relics of the native race. 

Sir James Hector, speaking on the paper, said he thought it a most 
important one. In a new country they should be very careful as to 
how they interfered with the natural changes of the coast line. He 
was of opinion that Mr. Field had done good service in bringing this 
matter before the Society. They in New Zealand would have to guard 
against selling lands situated in dangerous positions on the coasts. 
They should also prevent mischievous people from interfering with 
mouths of rivers and thus prevent natural changes. Mr. Field's paper 
had opened up a subject of extreme practical importance to the Colony. 

Mr. J. Beetham thought this a valuable paper. He would 
encourage those who had the opportunity to note carefully such changes 
as had been spoken of. There is no doubt great alterations had taken 
place on our coasts and in our rivers owing to the reasons given by Mr. 



Auckland, June 22nd, 1891.— Professor Brown, President, in the 

New members. — Messrs. E. Craig, C. Malfroy, and P. Sylow. 

Papers. — (1) "On the Prospects of finding "Workable Coal on the 
Shores of the Waitemata," by James Park, F.G.S. (See p. 208.) 

(2) " On the Geyser Action of Rotorua, by C. Malfroy, C.E. (See 
p. 203.) 


Dunedin, August 11th, 1891. — Professor Gibbous, President, in 
the chair. 

Papers. — (1) "On the Anatomy of Boltenia," by J. Watt, M.A., 
(communicated by Professor Parker). The paper, which was originally 
prepared as a thesis for honoiirs, was illustrated by very numerous 
sections prepared by freezing. Among other points brought out was 
the remarkable variation existing between different individuals in the 
relative lengths of the body and the peduncle, and in the arrangement 
of the external ridges of the body. 

(2) " On the extinction of Native Birds on the West Coast," by 
Jas. Richardson. The author cited the experience of Mr. Mueller 
(chief surveyor of Westland) and of Mr. Wilmot (district surveyor) 
regarding the scarcity of the kiwi and kakapo in the region between the 
Haast river and the head waters of the Dart river, where these birds 
were formerly numerous ; and related how he had himself noted their 
disappearance from the region of Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri, the 
fact being attributed to the depredations of ferrets, weasels, and stoats. 


Mr. .Richardson also alluded, on the authority of Mr. Wilmot, to the 
depredations of the ferrets in the extensive forest lying between Port 
Molyneux and Waikawa. He claimed to have placed before the Institute 
evidence of the presence of the ferret at different points from the 
Haast river in Westland to Catlin's river, and of the rapid destruction 
of the kakapo, kiwi, and other ground birds in the western forests. 
Apart from the regret which must be felt by the naturalist, the 
wholesale massacre of these interesting fauna, must, he said, seriously 
interfere with the progress of exploration and prospecting. In the past 
a party eould venture into the untrodden wilds lying at the back of the 
Sounds, carrying in the way of provisions nothing beyond salt and 
oatmeal, tea and sugar, relying upon always securing an ample supply 
of animal food, but in future the last-named essential would also have to 
be transported. The increased danger to life would also tend to deter 
prospectors from continuing investigation of a portion of the province 
which had already furnished indications of rich mineral deposits. 
There could be no doubt that very shortly it would be dangerous to 
camp out in many parts of Otago, especially in those which offered the 
greatest attractions to tourists and prospectors. He quoted the 
suggestion of Mr. T. O. Potts that areas of land should " be set 
aside and held under tapu as to dog and gun. There was, for instance, 
Resolution Island, amongst the Sounds. It might be proclaimed a 
public domain, where animals should not be molested under any 
pretence whatever. Some of the islets of the north-east coast of the 
North Island might be similarly dealt with." To the localities indicated 
by Mr. Potts, the speaker thought there might be added the larger 
islands of Te Anau, Manapouri, and Wakatipu. Mr. M'Kinnon had 
already successfully transferred the kakapo to Centre Island, Te Anau. 
By promptly adopting the proposal of Mr. Potts, we might hope to 
preserve small colonies of those rarer orders of New Zealand bird life 
whose regrettable disappearance had formed the subject of the paper. 

Mr. F. P. Chapman said he had had an opportunity of observing 
similar facts to those noted by Mr. Richardson. When he first knew 
the back country one had only to kneel down and tap a gun stock, and 
20 or 30 wekas would appear in places where probably not one would 
be seen now. He was told when he was at Orepuki three or four years 
ago that in the large forest from the Waiau to Jacob's river the weka 
had now disappeared, or almost so. Why it had disappeared there he 
did not know. What they had now to see to was whether any 
practicable suggestion could be offered for preserving the birds. He was 
not quite sure that they would wholly disappear from the ranges, but in 
a country like that of Stewart's Island he thought that it would be 
possible to preserve them, for, as there would be no rabbits, there 
seemed to be no particular reason for taking ferrets there. What he 
would suggest was that, following out Mr. Richardson's suggestion, 
homes should be made for the native birds where there would be a 
chance of saving them. Codfish Island, Stewart's Island, and other 
islands on the east and west coast, Bench Island, even the Snares and 
the Auckland Islands occurred to him as experimental places, and 
Captain Fairchild, he had no doubt, would, if applied to, be glad to 
take the birds from point to point and land them. At the Solaaders 
also the birds would be tolerably safe. If the birds were to be destroyed 


on the main island, lie thought that the steps he had suggested would 
be the most effectual for their preservation. 

Mr. Eichardson remarked, with regard to the disappearance of the 
weka from the forest between Jacob's river and the Waiau, that there 
were no rabbits there, b\it the ferrets bad evidently gone there in 
advance of them. 

Mr. G. M. Thomson stated that in 1882 he had crossed the Waiau 
at Clifton and walked to Lake Hauroto, on the shores of which he 
camped. He skirted all round the lake, and there were rabbits in 
abundance within 20 miles of the head of Preservation Inlet. He 
worked into the Princess Mountains, 12 miles from the head of 
Preservation, and at that time there were numerous birds to be seen. 
The tent was surrounded by kiwis and kakapos, and in the bush there 
were any number of crows ; but these had now disappeared. In 
January last, at the meeting of the Australasian Association at Christ- 
church, the biological section passed a resolution asking that Resolution 
Island should be declared a reserve for Native birds. A great deal of 
blame had been thrown upon the Acclimatisation Societies for their 
indiscriminate and, he might say, ignorant work in introducing animals, 
and plants also ; but, so far as the Otago Acclimatisation Society was 
concerned, he wished to say that from the very first it had every year 
passed a resolution protesting against the introduction of any animal of 
the weasel tribe, but there were men of sufficient interest with the 
Government to get them to introduce these animals in spite of the 
protest. One natural enemy of the rabbit was the weka, and the 
wekas had increased very much ; but one effect of the introduction of 
the ferret was that for the last few years one could hardly come across a 
weka. He was sure that the rabbits had not been put down one bit by 
the ferrets, and a few months ago he was on the hills to the seaward of 
the Taieri plain when he saw rabbits playing about in numbers, while 
he knew that ferrets were also in abundance. He was afraid that the 
matter of the preservation of native birds had got beyond bounds on 
the mainland of New Zealand. 

Mr. Eichardson understood that during the Union Steam Ship 
Company's annual excursions to Milford Sound shooting was considered 
to be part of the entertainment, and he was told that last year one 
man, a moneyed tourist from Home, shot 160 ducks in one day during 
the breeding season. He thought that was a thing which should be 
distinctly put a stop to. A party of High School boys also had during 
the summer time at Manapouri left absolutely nothing till their supply 
of cartridges gave out, 

Mr. E. Melland remarked that any islands which were set apart 
for preserving birds would have to be a good distance from the shore, 
for ferrets smelt a long way off, and also swam very well. He would 
suggest the Kermadecs as a place where kiwis might do very well. 
The rapidity with which the ferrets cleared away the wekas he regarded 
as remarkable. Years ago the wekas on a run at Lake Te Anau were 
sufficient to keep down the rabbits, which they killed apparently for 
sport ; but two years after the ferrets had been turned out the wekas 
had completely disappeared from the run he spoke of, and since then 
rabbiting had to be resorted to every year. Speaking from experience, 


he never knew the ferrets to keep down the rabbits in England. He 
had himself protested against ferrets being turned out on the far side of 
Lake Manaponri, but after one shipment had by a timely accident been 
drowned, another shipment was sent. 

Sir Walter Buller deplored very much tlie insane conduct of the 
Government in introducing stoats and weasels ; but there was, he 
thought, a danger of exaggerating the mischief done by these animals. 
They were apt to put everything down to the stoats and weasels, but he 
thought there were other causes in operation, for many New Zealand 
species had commenced to disappear long before the introduction of 
stoats and weasels. He instanced the kakapo and other birds in the 
North Island, for which a refuge was found on the Great Barrier and 
Little Barrier Islands. The introduction of weasels and stoats had 
tended to accelerate the destruction of the birds, but the kiwi and 
kakapo were very scarce long before. Fifteen years ago these birds 
were exported by hundreds, and that tended to considerably thin their 
numbers. His argument was that there were other causes in operation 
beyond that suggested. He had thought the thing out very carefully, 
and the conclusion he had come to was that the introduced rat was the 
cause of the mischief. They all knew how prolific the rat was — some 
parts of the colony were overrun with it — and it was significant that 
birds that deposited their eggs on the ground, and were an easy prey to 
rats, were the first to disappear. This cause, he pointed out, had been 
in operation ever since the colonisation of these islands. Take the 
quail, for example, they could not blame the stoats and weasels for the 
destruction of that bird, for it was extinct before the introduction of 
those animals, and there was not one to be found now — the last quail 
that was sold in Italy brought £75. He referred also to the early 
disappearance of the swamphen, woodhen, and thrush. The remedy was 
the establishment of preserves, and it was necessary to have insulated 
areas for these. Experience showed that expiring species always lasted 
longest on islands, and we ought to draw a lesson from experience and 
place the native birds on islands. He thought the idea to utilise 
Stewart's Island an excellent one, but they must get it proclaimed and 
have heavy penalties imposed for trespass and spoliation. Sir George 
Grey was the first to take any steps towards the preservation of native 
birds, and when he purchased the Island of Kawau he proceeded to 
stock it with kiwis, kakapos, and other birds, all of which had lived— 
indeed the weka became a positive nuisance. The speaker thought 
they ought to insist upon an absolutely close preserve for the use of the 
future generation. Lord Onslow was thoroughly alive to the impor- 
tance of the matter, and if the societies co-operated In; believe 1 they 
might confidently appeal to his Excellency, and something might be 
•done. Unless something was done to arrest the loss of these species 
before this generation had passed away not on" of the native birds 
would be left, and it would be a reproach to them that it should be so. 


Christchurch, August 6th, 1891. -Prof. F. \V. Hutton, F.G.S., 
President, in the chair. 


Paper. — (1] " On the ancient relations between New Zealand and 
South America," by Dr. H. von Jhering, (of Eio Grande do Sul), com- 
municated by Prof. Hutton. Abstract : — The. author points out that 
Mr. Wallace in his geographical distribution of animals has not made 
sufficient distinction between those groups of animals — such as birds 
and mammals — whose living genera appear only in the tertiary era, 
and the fishes, reptiles, &c, which are represented in the cretaceous, and 
the land and fresh-water molluscs many of which were living during the 
secondary or even the palaeozoic era. He thinks that the fresh-water 
fauna in general gives us the most reliable guide to the knowledge of 
the geography of our globe during palaeozoic and mesozoic times. He 
then discusses the relations of the fresh-water fauna of South America, 
as well as its geology, and arrives at the following conclusions : — 

A Pacific continent existed during the whole of the mesozoic era, 
from which first a number of Polynesian Islands, then New Zealand, 
and finally Australia and New Guinea became separated. 

South America was separated form North America from the creta- 
ceous to the end of the pliocene period. A South American continent 
has existed only since the oligocene period. At that time it consisted of 
two parts united by the narrow isthmus of the Andes, which were 
completely separated from one another before the oligocene. 

These two parts form Archiplata (the area occupied at present by 
Chili, Argentina, Uruguay and South Brazil), and Archignyana (com- 
prising the high plateau of Venezuela and Guyana). 

Each of these territories had its own fauna and flora which differed 
from each other as much as those of Africa and North America do at 
the present clay. 

Archignyana was united by land to Africa, a remnant of which 
remains in St. Helena, whilst Archiplata extended to the south in a 
South-Pacific-Antarctic continent which during the whole of mesozoic 
times kept this area in communication with the Pacific continent. 

The theory of Wallace is to be rejected not only for South America 
but also for Australia and Polynesia, for neither lizards nor land and 
fresh-water shells can be transported across the sea. But we must not 
forget that it was he who gave to zoogeography its modern solid basis, 
its new methods of procedure by which progress may be made, as well 
as its aims and its problems. 


Sydney, June 24th, 1891. — Professor Haswell, M.A., D.Sc, 
President, in the chair. 

Papers.— (1) " Angophora Kino," by J. H. Maiden, E.C.S., F.L.S. 
Kinos of this genus have not previously been described, although their 
occurrence has long been known. The author has described those'of 
A. intermedia and A. lanceolata, and given an account of their 
composition. He also gives notes of those of other species. 


(2) "On the Incisors of Sceparnodon," by C. W. De Vis, M.A., 
Corr. Mem. The author describes a large perfect adult upper incisor 
with portion of the premaxilla still encasing it : also a smaller not fully 
grown tooth with a greater extent of working surface, which is regarded 
as a lower incisor. From the characters of these the author accordingly 
concludes that Sceparnodon is not a synoDym of Phascolonus. The 
specimens described are in the collection of the Queensland Museum. 

(3) " Contributions to a more exact knowledge of the Geographical 
Distribution of Australian Batrachia, No. II. ; with description of a new 
Cystignathoid Frog," by J. J. Fletcher, M.A., B.Sc. Some additions 
are made to the lists previously given, several collections are recorded 
from new inland localities, with observations on the habits and colours 
of the living animals of several species ; and a new species of Crinia 
from Victoria, for which the name C. Froggatti is proposed, is described 
as new. 

(4) "Description of a new Cone from the Mauritius," by J. Brazier, 
F.L.S. The new species described as Conus Worcesteri, has a smooth 
shell, white beneath a dirty yellowish epidermis, variegated with four 
purple or pinkish-brown bands flowing down here and there in flexuous 

Sydney, July 29th, 1891.— Professor Has well, M. A., D.Sc, Presi- 
dent, in the chair. 

Papers. — (1) "Notes on Aboriginal Stone Weapons and Imple- 
ments (continued)," by R. Etheridge, Junr. Descriptions are given of 
a large number of tomahawks and axes from the Collections of Sir W. 
Macleay, Dr. J. C. Cox, the Queensland Museum, and others, including 
some modernised axes of the Queensland Aborigines from the last- 
named collection, made from old scrap-iron. The author also suggests a 
tentative classification for museum exhibition purposes of the stone 
weapons described. 

(2) "Synonomy of Helix (Hadra)gulosa, Cld," by J. Brazier, F.L.S. 

(3) "The Silurian Trilobites of New South Wales, with References 
to those of other parts of Australia. Part i.," by R. Etheridge, Junr., 
and John Mitchell. The authors give an epitome of our previous 
knowledge of the Proetidce in Australia ; discuss the general question of 
the genus ; and describe three species, two of which were previously 
known, viz., Proetus boioningensis, Mitchell, P. Battel, E. & M., and P. 
australis, E. & M. The characters of the three species are given at 
length, their relations one to the other, and finally with those of other 

(4) " Observations on the Chloraemidae, with special reference to 
some Australian forms," by Professor W. A. Haswell, M. A., D.Sc. 
This paper has reference chiefly to a remarkable member of the family 
which occurs on the Queensland coast ; but the opportunity has also 
been taken to give some account of two other undescribed Chloraemids 
obtained by the author in Port Jackson. 



Melbourne, May 23rd, 1891.— Baron F. von Mueller, K.C.M.G., 
F.R.S., in the chair. 


The annual address was delivered by the retiring president, Mr. 
A. C. Topp, M.A., LL.B., F.L.S., who expressed his regret that during 
the past year he had been obliged to absent himself i rom so many meet- 
ings of the club, but his public duties had prevented him from taking 
the active part in the affairs of the club which he should have liked. 
The most important field work accomplished by the club during the 
year had been in connection with the excursions to the Kent group of 
islands and to the Upper Yarra, and it was a matter for congratulation 
that these somewhat prolonged excursions seemed now to be firmly 
established as a necessary part of the annual doings of the club. Apart 
from the actual results in the shape of new fauna and flora discovered, 
and new knowledge acquired of geographical distribution, such trips 
promoted one of the objects of the club in giving young naturalists a 
training and experience Avhich would be of value to those of them who 
in later life might take up on a larger scale the study of natural history 
in unexplored or at least unsettled localities. Mention ought also to be 
made of the visit of Messrs. Howitt, Dendy, and Lucas, members of the 
club, to the Mount Wellington district in Gippsland, a report of which 
was read at the February meeting. In addition to the results derived 
from these excursions, it was encouraging to notice that during the 12 
months the diligent collecting and trained observations of members 
had resulted in the addition of several new species of animals 
and plants to the Victorian fauna and flora, and many papers of interest 
had been read at the periodical meetings. It was a matter for regret, 
however, that geology still continued in the background. The annual 
wild-flower show in October was, perhaps, a completer exhibition of 
spring flowers from all parts of the colony than had previously been 
shown. Allusion was made in the report to several other matters and 
publications of interest to members as connected with Australian natural 
history, and satisfaction was expressed at the fact that arrangements 
had been made by the Mining department for a continuance of a syste- 
matic geological survey of the colony. The circumstance that so excel- 
lent a geologist as Mi'. A. W. Howitt was now the head of the depart- 
ment was a guarantee that this work would be thoroughly and exactly 
carried out. Congratulatory refei'ence was also made to two explora- 
tions which, it might be hoped, would before long give results of great 
scientific interest, namely the expedition despatched by Sir Thomas 
Elder to the interior of Australia, and the Swedish- Australian expedition 
to the South Pole now being organised by Baron Nordenskjold, and 
promoted by the Victorian Antarctic committee. 

Baron von Mueller added a few words respecting the work of the 
club and the expedition to the Antarctic regions, which, he now felt 
assured, would soon be an accomplished fact. He moved a hearty vote 
of thanks to Mr. Topp for his work as president of the club, and for the 
excellent address which he had just delivered. 

An exhibition of lantern slides illustrative of the club's excursions 
was given, and a numerous list of exhibits was shown. 

Melbourne, July 13th, 1891. — Professor W. B. Spencer, in the chair. 

New Members. — Mrs. C. French, and Messrs. E. Bolter, H. C. 
Crofts, P. Dattari, C. Draper, S. Plowman, F.R.C.S., C. A. E. Price, 
J. V. Smith, C. Troedel, and T. J. Watts. 


Paper.- -(1) "Introduction to the Study of Sponges," by Dr. A. 
Dendy, F.L.S. The writer grouped his remarks under the two great 
divisions of calcareous and non-calcareous sponges, and described in 
detail tbe anatomy and canal system of various types. The lecture was 
illustrated by diagrams and many beautiful specimens, so that the 
subject could be followed quite easily by the uninitiated. 

(2) Messrs Luehmann and French read a note and exhibited the 
skin of a tree-climbing kangaroo from Northern Queensland, to which 
they gave the name Dendrolagus Muetteri. This remarkable marsupial 
has a body about 2 ft. in length, with a tail somewhat exceeding 2 ft. 
The disproportion between the forelegs and the hind legs is not nearly 
so great as that of the ordinary kangaroo and wallaby ; the toes are 
strong and curved, to enable it to climb tall and straight trees, on the 
leaves of which it exists. This species is more nearly allied to the one 
which was discovered a few years ago in Queensland than to the two 
species from New Guinea. The specimen shown was got trom a straight 
tree, about 90 ft. above the ground. 

Other natural history notes were communicated by Messrs. J. 
Shephard, F. G. A. Barnard, T. Steel, and E. H. Hennell. 

Specimens were exhibited by Dr. A. Dendy, Mr. C. French, Jun., 
Rev. W. Fielder, Messrs. L. O. Grundt, R. Hall, J. G. Luehmann, W. 
Macgillivray, Baron von Mueller, and Mr. J. Shephard. 


Sydney, July 1st, 1891. — H. C. Russell, Esq., Vice-President, in 
the chair. 

New members. — Messrs. A. Bowman, J. H. Campbell, J. K. 
Chisholm, G. Clarke, C.E., B. Demstan, J. Gill, F. B. Guthrie, Hon. 
W. Halliday, M.L.C., C. Hedley, F.L.S., R. Hickson, M. Inst. C.E., 
C. W. King, T. W. Seaver, A. W. Stillwell, T. Ward, S. C. Watkins, 
M.R.C.S., F. Wells, M. Inst. C.E., R. A. Wilson, M.D., P. M. Wood, 


Mr. W. G. Cox, of Windgidgeon vid Gilgandra, wrote stating that 
he knew where there was another aboriginal cave similar to one recently 
described in a Sydney paper. It was situated close to the Munghorn 
Gap in the Main Dividing Range, on the road from Mudgee to Woollan. 
Tbe cave is situated in an isolated freestone rock of mammoth size. 
These caves, he said, were generally known as the " Red-hand Caves," 
as all the figures represented therein were in a red colour, supposed to 
have been so coloured with the gum taken from the apple tree. There 
were also several other caves in Dunn's Mountain, in the dividing 
range, to the south-east of Rylstone. 


Baron von Mueller, who is taking a very active interest in the 
question of antarctic exploration, wrote pointing out the need for 
intending contributors to the exploration fund forwai-ding their con- 
tributions at once. He stated that an endeavour would be made that 
the exploration party should start from Sweden in March next year. 


The Chairman stated that the secretary would be glad to receive 
any contributions the members had to give. 

Papers. — (1) " Nos. 13 and 14 Compressed-air Flying Machines," 
by Lawrence Hargrave. 

(2) '■ Some Folk-songs and Myths from Samoa, translated by the 
Rev. G. Pratt," by Dr. J. Fraser. The paper was in continuation of a 
series commenced in November last, and dealt with four myths now for 
the first time translated. Dr. Fraser said that of the four the most 
interesting was one about Mafuie, the Samoan Vulcan, and his sister 
Ululepapa. Mafuie had his home down below, but, unlike his classical 
compeer, he did not work in metals ; he only cultivated taro, yams, 
etc., and had a huge ironwood tree, ever burning, with which to lighten 
his abode and help him and his men to cook their food. On the earth 
above there was no fire and no cooked food ; everything was eaten raw. 
But a courageous youth named Tiitii changed all this. Like Ali Baba, 
he discovered a password — " Rock, rock, split open " — by means of 
which he descended to the regions below, picked a quarrel with Mafuie, 
and, wrestling with him, broke his leg and his arm, compelled him to 
submit, and brought away fire, touchwood, and taro. Ever since the 
Samoans have had cooked food. Another myth bore a striking- 
resemblance to the Biblical account of the Fall ; and yet an old native 
of Upolu certifies it as a genuine Samoan tale. 

(3) " Preparations now being made in the Sydney Observatory for 
the Photographic Chart of the Heavens," by H. C. Russell. (See p. 

(4) " On Cyclonic Storms," by H. C. Russell. 

Sydney, August 6th, 1891. — H. C. Russell, Esq., in the chair. 

New members.— Messrs. C. O. Burge, C.E., T. R. Firth, S. 
Jamieson, B.A., M.B., G. W. Sutherland, M.B., CM. 

The Chairman announced that the society's bronze medal and prize 
of c£25 had been awarded to the Rev. J. Milne Curran, F.G.S., for his 
paper on "The Microscopic Structure of Australian Rocks." 

The Rev. J. Milne Curran read extracts from his paper. In the 
introduction he referred to the work of previous observers in the same 
field, and also the particular methods resorted to in petrographic 
research. He explained how micro-chemical and microscopical obser- 
vation as well as micro-photography were made available in the study of 
Australian rocks. The great development of acidic intrusive rocks in 
New South Wales was dwelt on, though these rocks were for the most 
part in the pre-Tertiary age. The presence of granite and its micro- 
scopic structure was recorded for the first time from the Lower 
Macquarie. Here in the heart of the great Tertiary plains, granites 
were found forming the tops of buried mountains. Many interesting- 
rocks not hitherto studied were described, such as the gabbros of Carcoar, 
the leucite rocks of Harden, the diabases of Blayney and Wellington, 
and the basalts of Orange, Mendoran, Bathurst, and other localities in 
the New England districts. The Tertiary effusive rocks were treated of 
in great detail, revealing some very remarkable structures. 

' iiaad^Mjkiiua^iaig atBtiMdiii'Hj aai eaa^ 

1 PP] 


Petrie's First Geography . . . .'•" is. 

Petrie's Geography of Mew Zealand . Is. 

doyen's Complete Arithmetic ... ' od. 

Answers to same Od. 

Goyen's Exercises in the Compound Enles is. 6d. 

Answers . . . . . . is. M. 

Curnow's Primer of English History . is. 

Thomson's Mew Zealand Ferns . . m. 

The Stacy of the ©tago Church and f Cloth 3s, M, 
Settlement. By Met, €> Stuart Jioss \ Paper 2s. 

Education and Educationists in ©tag'©, 

By Rev. C. Stuart Ross ... 3s. 6d. 


ZZ. T-.^T -.^":-». -■! , .- Mf 

Et- ^ ' -- i^-^ ^r z 

iS"-»!':ri'j.rj;j.t.--.u,j>j»in mi 

Matthews, "Baxter & Co., General Printers, Uowling Street, Dunedin. 

NOVEMBEK, 1891. 

Ho. 6, Vol. 1. (Hew Issue.) 





Judicio perpende : et si tibi vera videntur 

Dede manus : aut si f ahum est, adcingere contra. 



Earthquakes in New Zealand— What and how to observe. George Hogben, 

M.A., Timaru ... ... ... ... ... ... 241 

On the Classification of the Moa. Captain F. W. Hutton, F.G.S.... ... 247 

Notes on the Geographical Relations of our Land and Fresh -water Mollusca. 

H. Suteb, Christchurch ... ... ... ... ... 250 

Review — " Introductory Class-book of Botany." ... ... ... 254 

General Notes— ... ... ... ... ... ... 255 

On Moa Bones— Migration of Eels— New Otago Plants— On Disappearance 
of Spcar-grass— Note on Leucopogon Fraseri, A. Cunn.— History of 
the Moas. 

Review— "Illustrations of British Fungi." ... ... ... ... 264 

The New Australian Mole-like Marsupial— Notoryctes Typhlops ... ... 265 

Meetings of Societies ... ... ... ... ... ... 267 

Otago Institute— Wellington Philosophical Society — Wellington Field 
Naturalists' Club— Linneau Society of New South Wales— Field 
Naturalists' Club of Victoria— Royal Society of Victoria— Royal 
Society of Tasmania. 


Posted — Australia, America, and Britain, 12s^ 6d. 


" Vol. I. No. 6, N.Z. JOURNAL OF SCIENC2 (New Issue) NOV., 1891. 




It may be necessary to answer a preliminary question, ' W ky 
should we observe earthquakes at all "? ' ; for there are some people 
who consider that by calling attention to the subject we shall be in 
danger of gaining for New Zealand an unenviable notoriety. As a 
matter of fact, however, a very limited examination of the earthquake- 
history of the colony shows that, if indeed the objection be seriously 
urged, no fear need be entertained on that ground. Out of nearly 
800 earthquakes recorded in New Zealand only two or three can be 
called severe* — namely, those of October, 1848, January, 1855, and 
perhaps one other, (about which little definite information can be 
obtained, but which seems to have had marked effects in the district 
between Mts. Tarawera and Edgcumbe in the year 1836). A few 
more come under the head of sharp, and all the rest — the vast 
majority — are certainly not entitled to a moie serious adjective than 
slight. No earthquake in New Zealand, at least in historic times, has 
been at all comparable with the terremotos or destructive earthquakes 
of South America. The minds of the timid may therefore be re- 
assured by the thought that the experience of the past does not lead 
us to expect greater danger from earthquakes in New Zealand than 
in England. 

Besides removing this objection we may, perhaps, be expected to 
give some positive reason why earthquakes should be observed. The 
object is mainly a scientific one, though, as in many other inquiries 
purely scientific at the outset, practical conclusions and results may 
follow. Seismology is merely one branch of a larger subject, the 
Physics of the earth's crust, a complete study of which involves 
questions connected with the figure of the earth, the nature of its 
interior — whether liquid or solid, or partly liquid and partly solid, or 
solid by reason of the pressure though liquid in potentiality; its 
temperature, and rate and mode of cooling — by conduction if solid or 
viscid, by convection if liquid; the nature of the internal movements, 
if any ; the consequent nature and causes of the compressions and 
movements that take jnace near the surface. The most important 
evidence towards forming probable theories about these matters is 
yielded by the phenomena connected with volcanic eruptions, and 
wdth the various earth-movements — earthquakes, earth-tremors, earth- 
tides or pulsations, and those larger and slower movements revealed 
in the elevation or depression of the land. Other effects of the forces 

* It would take too long to attempt a definition of the terms severe, sharp, slight. 
Their use is not free from vagueness, but they give a convenient classification of 
shocks, based upon such easily observed phenomena as the stopping of clocks, the 
falling of bottles from shelves, injury to chimneys and walls of buildings, and so on- - 
the appropriateness of the particular adjective depending also upon the more or less 
general occurrence of these events in any given district. 


at work on the earth's crust are shown in faults, fissures, foldings, 
cleavages, and in other ways known to geologists. The vast questions 
here suggested are very far from being solved, and if ever they 
are solved at all, it can only he by theories based on the widest 
possible collection of data. It is, in short, as part of a world-system 
of observations that our observations in New Zealand will become 

How is this conujction between New Zealand and the rest of the 
world to be made ? The Australasian Association of Science has, by 
by appointing a Seismological Committee decided to do what it can. 
What, then, can be done ? 

Whatever is done in New Zealand should also be done for each 
of the other Australasian Colonies, and, if possible, for the islands of 
the Pacific, so that the general collation and comparison already 
referred to may be made. 

The first step is for some one in each Colony to compile a list of 
all recorded earthquakes up to the present time, including in that 
list all the important details, as far as they are given in the records. 
For this purpose it is necessary to search official tables, scientific 
journals, personal narratives and the newspapers. Sir James Hector 
has drawn up such a record for New Zealand, which I hope soon to 
see published, and in a paper read by myself before Section A of the 
Australasian Association, 1891, a similar list was included. In 
gathering together the materials for the latter I asked for the 
following particulars : — 1. Place, '2. Time, 3. Nature of Shock, 4. 
Apparent Direction, 5. Apparent Duration, 6. Effects — other remarks, 
7. Time-checks, 8. Authority. I asked for the omission of all 
inferences and of unimportant details, and the replies were forwarded 
to me, tabulated, on foolscap sheets. Nothing was to be omitted, 
were it only the fact that a shock was felt on a certain date at a 
certain place. 

When made, this list serves many useful purposes ; its principal 
one is to indicate the directions in which the subsequent earthquake- 
hunting is likely to be successful. It may show roughly the distri- 
bution and comparative frequency of earthquake- shocks in different 
districts, suggest positions of centres or lines of disturbance, and may 
point to shocks in one colony synchronous or identical with shocks in 
another more or less distant. 

The next step, which of course need not be delayed until the 
first is completed, is to establish a uniform system of recording earth- 
quakes as they occur. These records should be such as can be used 
for determining earthquake origins, and as far as possible also the 
velocity of propagation, the depth of the origin and the velocity of the 
shock, that is the velocity of the several particles that vibrate. Good 
time-observations are sufficient for the first two of these, and in 
favourable instances for the third also, but for the fourth elaborate 
instruments would be necessary — indeed, even with the best instru- 
ments satisfactory results are rarely attainable, and doubt may still 
be thrown upon the best observations. For the observation of the 


time of the shock, and therefore for ascertaining the position and 
depth of the origin and the velocity of transit or propagation, much 
simpler instruments -would be sufficient. They should be seismocopes, 
all of the same type, capable of showing the time of the earthquake 
and the particular phase of the earthquake to which the time recorded 
belongs. They should be corrected electrically with a clock regulated 
by some standard time. There should be as large a number of these 
instruments as possible, and the advantage obtained by their use 
would be that almost any earthquake felt at five or six places should 
afford sufficient data for the determination of the epicentrum (or 
portion of the earth's surface vertically above the real origin or 
centrum), and of the velocity of propagation; — and any earthquake 
felt, say at ten places, should give us the depth of centrum as well. 
Theoretically, five good times from places favourably situated should 
give us all these, but in practice it is better to have ten at least. 

Instruments, however, cost money, and at present there seems 
small hope of obtaining them either from the Government or private 
individuals. Without crying " sour grapes," we can nevertheless 
console ourselves with the fact that, though instruments would yield 
the required data with greater certainty, yet much may be done 
without instruments. In fact, an observation by a careful observer, 
who takes the necessary precautions to check his notes of the time 
and the various facts of the movement, is worth at least as much as 
the observation of a moderately good instrument, and far more than 
an observation recorded by an instrument not kept in scrupulously 
good order. 

The Charleston earthquake of August 31st, 1886, was probably 
one of the best, if not the very best-recorded earthquake hitherto, 
and yet Major Dutton tells us : "At the time of the earthquake there 
was not within the United States a single seismocope or other suitable 
instrument of precision on guard and so connected with a clock as to 
give an accurate record of the time at which the impulses arrived. 
Nevertheless there were several circumstances which gave hope that 

a fairly satisfactory result might be reached The 

fact which gave the highest encouragement was the existence and 
successful working of the standard time system, whereby once each 
day a signal is telegraphed from an astronomical clock to every 
telegraph station in the country at an appointed hour, minute, and 
second." And he goes on to show that the habit formed by large 
numbers of intelligent men of daily using these facilities led to the 
amazingly large and accurate set of returns on wbich his calculations 
were based. (See Charleston Earthquake Report, U. S. Geological 
Survey, 1890.) In short, the history of the Charleston earthquake 
has taught us two things — the great value of time-observations, and 
the rosf-ibility of obtaining fairly good time observations in any 
country where comparison can be made with a standard time. Tbis 
can be done in New Zealand, as any telegraph office gets, or can get 
New Zealand Mean Time from the Head Office at Wellington ; and L 
suppose it would be equally possible in the other colonies. 


By the courtesy of Dr. Lemon, Superintendent of Posts and 
Telegraphs, a system Las been in working for nearly two years in 
New Zealand, by which the telegraph officers at any stations at 
which an earthquake is felt forward memoranda of the fact to Dr. 
Lemon, who sends them on to me. These memoranda are made on 
forms supplied to them. (See below.) A few private persons have 
kindly given me assistance by filling up and forwarding memoranda, 
and I shall be happy to send blank forms to any willing to help by 
recording the earthquakes that come within their own observation. 

Last year I received in this way 79 memoranda with notes of 47 
shocks, and was able to determine with tolerable exactness the origin 
of one earthquake, and approximately' those of several others. This 
year I have received 75 so far, but the results are not yet worked out. 
I quote these facts to show that something may be done without the 
aid of instruments; but, even if the instruments Avere obtained and 
set up at chosen places, it would be desirable to continue the present 
system for the purpose of checking and corroborating the conclusions 
arrived at by their means. 

I shall conclude by a few brief remarks on one or two of the 
headings of the form supplied to the officers of the telegraph 

1. Time of beglnnimj of shock. If possible, N.Z. Mean Time. 
What we really want to get is the time at each place of the same 
phase of the earthquake, and it is generally agreed that the best time 
to observe is the beginning of the first maximum. Now that is 
generally the moment at which most people begin to notice the 
motion, and therefore anyone answering the question precisely would 
in all probability give what is wanted. It is important that the time 
should be checked by communication with Wellington as soon after 
the shock as convenient ; . if any considerable time has elapsed the rate 
of the watch or clock by which the time was observed should be 
found, and allowed for. 

4. Apparent Direction. People are very often deceived, some- 
times unavoidably, as to the direction from which a shock proceeds. 
The best indicator generally available would be any object hanging 
freely and swinging to and fro {eg. a chandelier or lamp). The 
direction of the swing may be seen by fixing the eye upon some point 
on the ceiling or wall. Other means of noting direction of shock are 
by the overflow of milk or other liquids in open vessels, by the 
rattling of pictures against or along the wall, or by the falling of 
crockery, etc., from shelves. By far the best of all these ways is that 
given by the swinging of suspended objects, and the beginning of the 
swinging should be noted, if possible. The direction taken by falling 
objects depends very much, on the nature of the previous support. 
Two directions, — one belonging to the normal, the other to the 
transverse vibrations, commonly but not always at right angles, are 
often observed, — both should be noted. 

The other particulars asked for serve to check and confirm the 
conclusions formed from the notes of lime and direction, and may now 



and then give means of guessing at the intensity of the earthquake 
as shown by the velocity of the earth-particles, i.e. the velocity of 
shock. So far, I believe, no estimate has been formed of what this 
velocity may have been in any New Zealand earthquake. From 
•calculations made, 1 believe the velocity of shock of the earthquake of 
September 1st, 1888, to have been between 12 and 19 feet per 
second. Though we cannot really determine this element without 
good instruments, we may be able to find limits within which it must 

I trust I have succeeded in showing that there is something 
worth observing in regard to New Zealand earthquakes, and that to 
observe it does not require any special training but only ordinary care 
and intelligence ; as in everything else a high degree of accuracy 
only comes with practice, which as far as earthquakes are concerned, 
most of us would willingly dispense with. Perhaps at a future time 
the Editor may have space for some account of the results of the work 
already done by various individuals in the department of New Zealand 





[Please answer precisely any or all of the following Questions.^ 

1. Time of beginning of shock. 
If piossiblc, N.Z. Mean Time. 

2. Whether clock was verified 
by N.Z Mean Time. 

3. Nature of shock — slight, 
sharp, or severe. 

4. Apparent direction — [e.g. — 
S. E. to N. W. ; then N. E . to S. W/| 

5. Apparent duration. 

G. Effects, [e.g. — docks stopped; 
bells rung ; crockery broken ; 
chimneys thrown down.] 

1. Remarks, [e.g. previous tre- 
mors or rumbling ; spilling of 
liquids, with direction of overflow; 
landslip in neighbourhood ; special 
instruments used in observation. 

Signature of Observer _ 
A ddress 


For the purpose of accurate observation of earthquakes the 
immense advantages of a system of standard time and the habit 
of referring to that time are sufficiently shown by a comparison of 
of the respective reports of the Charleston Earthquake of 1886 and of 
the East Anglian Earthquake of 1884. These advantages are still 
further emphasise! by a reference to a paper in the "Geological 
Magazine " of the present year (On the British Earthquakes of 1889, 
by Charles Davison, M.A.) It is true that the areas over which the 
earthquakes investigated were felt were so small that very accurate 
time-observations would have been required to determine the epi- 
centrum ; but the nature of the time-notes taken shows generally that 
the opportunities for good time-observations are fewer in Great Britain 
than in New Zealand. 

The interesting point for us is the careful way in which the 
epicentrum is determined by the intensity of the shock at various 
places — namely, by drawing isoseismals (or lines on the map so as to 
pass as nearly as possible through places where the intensity was the 
same). As the chief mode of finding the origin of a shock this is more 
likely to be successful in thickly-settled countries ; nevertheless, it 
might be useful in these colonies to supplement and correct inferences 
derived from time-observations. 

It is necessary, of course, that the same way of describing degrees 
of intensity should be. employed by all observers. Nothing better, 
probably, can be suggested than the Bossi-Forel scale used by Mr. 
Davison. He gives a translation of it (reprinted below), and remarks 
thereon : " This scale is very generally adopted by Italian and Swiss 
seismologists, and, though rough and undoubted^ variable to a slight 
extent, is well suited to the nature of the evidence at our disposal, the 
range of variability of any degree of the scale being probably less than 
the limits of error of ordinary observations." 

Bossi-Forel Scale of Intensity. 

I Becorded by a single seismograph, or by some seismographs of 
the same model, but not by several seismographs of diffeient kinds; the 
shock felt by an experienced observer. 

II. Becorded by seismographs of different kinds ; felt by a small 
number of persons at rest. 

III. Felt by several persons at rest ; strong enough for the 
duration or the direction to be appreciable. 

IV. Felt by persons in motion ; disturbance of moveable objects, 
doors, windows, cracking of ceilings. 

V. Felt generally by everyone; disturbance of furniture and beds, 
ringing of some bells. 

VI. Generally awakening of those asleep ; general ringing of bells, 
oscillation of chandeliers, stopping of clocks ; visible disturbance of trees 
and shrubs. Some startled persons leave their dwellings. 

VII. Overthrow of moveable objects, fall of plaster, ringing of 
church bells, general panic, without damage to buildings. 

VIIT. Fall of chimneys, cracks in the walls of buildings. 

IX. Partial or total destruction of some buildings. 

X. Great disasters, ruins, disturbance of strata, fissures in the 
earth's crust, rock-falls from mountains. 




(Abstract of a paper read to the Canterbury Philosophical Institute, on 
1st October, 1891.) 

In all but three of the species of Moa described by Sir R. Owen 
the bones of the leg had to be put together conjecturally from 
collections sent him at different times between 1843 and 1872. In 
consequence, the bones have, in many instances, been misplaced, and 
the skulls have also often been attached to the wrong species. These 
mistakes were, at the time, unavoidable, but the collections in the 
colony are now sufficiently large to enable us to detect most of the 
errors ; and this paper is an attempt to reduce the confusion to order, 
to clear up the characters of the different species, and to provide a 
basis for further investigation. 

The Moas are all included in one Family — the DinornithidEe — 
but are divided into seven genera and twenty six species. The genera 
are founded chiefly on the skulls, but also have characters derived 
from the sternum, the pelvis, and the robustness of the leg-bones. 
The species are distinguished almost entirely by size, but sometimes 
characters derived from the skull can be given. In many cases the 
species run one into the other and the lines between them are drawn 
so as to give about an equal range in variation to each species. In 
Owen's species the metatarsus is taken as the type, except in D. 
ingens, where the tibia forms the type. 

Genus Dinornis. 

Skull depressed, the lambdoidal ridge flattened and the parietals 
hardly rising above it ; the breadth at the squamosals greater than 
the length from the supra-occipital to the nasals. Beak rather longer 
than the head, depressed and obtuse at the tip ; the lower jaw much 
curved. A scapulo-coracoid without any glenoid cavity. 

Sub-genus Dinomis. 

Top of the head flattened. Extinct Birds of N.Z., Plate 61. 

D. alius, Owen — South Island. Larger and more slender than 
D. maximus. 

D. maximus, Owen — South Island. 

D. excelsus, sp. nov. — North Island. Same size as D. maximus 
but more slender. 

D. validus, sp. nov. — South Island. Larger and more robust 
than D. giganteus. 

D. giganteus, Owen — North Island. 

D. robustus, Owen — South Island. 

D.firmus, sp. nov.— North Island. Same tize as D. robustus but 
more slender. 


D. ingens, Owen — North Island. 

/>. potens, sp. nov. — South Island. Same size as D. ingens but 
more robust. 

Sub-genus Tylopteryx. ^ 

Top of the head elevated. Extinct Birds of N.Z , Plate 82. 

D. gracilis, Owen — North Island. 

D. torosus, sp. nov. — South Island. Intermediate in size between 
D. gracilis and D. strata ioides. 

1). strutldoides, Owen — Both Islands. 

Genus Palapteryx. 

Skull depressed ; the breadth of the squamosals less than the 
length from the supra-occipital to the nasals. Beak about as long as 
the head, more compressed than in Diuornis ; the lower jaw nearly 
straight. Extinct Birds of N.Z., pi. 45. A scapulo-coracoid with a 
glenoid cavity and probably a wing. 

P. dromioides, Owen — North Island. 

P. plenus, sp. nov. — South Island. Bather larger and stouter 
than P. dromioides. 

Genus Anomalopteryx. 

Skull very convex, the maxillo-jugals curved. Beak short, slightly 
compressed and rounded at the top ; the lower jaw strong and nearly 
straight. Trans. Zool. Soc, vol. ii., pi. 52. A small scapulo-coracoid. 

A. didiforniis, Owen. = D. parvus, Owen-- Both Islands. 

A. antiquus, sp. nov. — Timaru, in older pliocene rocks. Smaller 
than A, didiforniis. 

Genus Cki.a. 

Skull convex. Beak short, slightly compressed and rounded at 
the tip ; the lower jaw nearly straight and rather slighter than in 
Anomalopteryx. Trans. Zool. Soc, vol. xii., pi. 31. No scapulo- 

C. geranoides, Owen — North Island. 

C. cartas, Owen. = D. Oioeni, Haast — North Island. 

Genus Mesoptekyx. ) y 

Skull convex, angled behind. Beak shorter than the head, 

moderately curved, much compressed and pointed at the tip ; the 

lower jaw slender. No scapulo coracoid. Extinct Birds of N.Z., 

pi. 78. ' 

M. didinus, Owen, = D. Huttonii, Owen — Both Islands. A more 
robust species than A. didiforniis, with which it has been confused. 

Genus Syoknis. 
Skull convex, rounded behind. Beak shorter than the head, 
moderately curved, much compressed and pointed at the tip ; lower 
jaw strong. Extinct Birds of N.Z.. pis. 76 and 73. No scapulo- 



S. rheides, Owen — South Island. 

S. crassus, Owen — South Island. 

S. casuarinus, Owen — Both Islands. 

Genus Eukyaptekyx. 

Skull moderately convex. Beak very short and stout, slightly 
compressed and rounded at the tip ; the lower jaw moderately curved. 
No scapulo-coracoid. Extinct Birds of N.Z., pis. 77 and 72. 

E. elephantopus, Owen — South Island. 

E. ponderosus, sp. nov. — South Island. Intermediate in sizj 
between E. elephantopus and E. gravis. 

E. gravis, Owen — South Island. 

E. pygmmus, sp. nov. — South Island. Smaller thau E. gravis. 


Of the Average Measurement of the Species. 

In the leg bones the girth is taken at the middle of the shaft. 
In the pelvis the length is that of the pre-acetabular portion only, the 
breadth is taken at the anti-trochanters. The breadth of the sternum 
is taken across the body, just below the costal region. In the skull 
the length is from the supra-occipital to the nasals, the breadth is 
taken at the squamosals, and the height is the vertical from the 







































D. altus 



D. maximus 







D excelsus 




D. validus 










D. giganteus 







D. robustus 

10 -o 



6 -5 









D. firmus 








D. ingens 







D. potens 













D. gracilis 










D. torosus 













D. struthioides 












P. dromioides 










P. pleiras 







7' 5 



A. didiformis 













C. geranoides 

5 - 7 










C. curtus 












M. didinus 













S. rheides 

9 '3 



5 3 





S. crassus 













S. casuarinus 













E. elephantopurs 






7 '3 







E. ponderosus 





10 5 






2 7 


E. gravis 

7 4 5-0 











E. pygmreus 



13 -o 


7 "5 







In No. 4 of this Journal, page 151, an article by Dr. Von Jhering 
appeared, dealing with the geographical distribution of the fresh-water 
mussels. He says that Dr. Gunther unites the fresh-water fishes of 
Chile and New Zealand, and that the study of the Najadas confirms 
this fact, as Unio mutabUis, Lea., from New Zealand and Australia 
has its nearest ally in Unio auratus of Chile. The mere resemblance 
of certain mussels from Australasia and Chile could hardly be taken as 
a conclusive proof of the former existence of a large continent extending 
between Australasia and South America, but here Dr. von Jhering helps 
us out of the difficulty by his most important and interesting discovery 
of the mode of hatching the embryos. The South American Najada: 
hatch their embryos in the internal branchiae, while those of Europe and 
North America perform it in the external branchiae. The embryos of 
both are very different also. 

In his last letter to me Dr. von Jhering expressed his opinion that 
the Najadce of Australasia would very likely show the same peculiarity 
in the mode of hatching the embryos as those of South America, and 
asked me to work together with him in this direction, as well as to 
ascertain by a large number of measurements of Unio from many parts 
of New Zealand, whether we have only one or very few species of 
Unio with many local varieties, or really 6 to 8 distinct species. 

I made a start with the work at the end of July, when Mr. 
W. W. Smith, of Ashburton, very kindly sent me several hundred 
specimens of Unio from Albuiy Creek, and a few from Ashburton 
River. It was rather late in the season, as Professor Hutton says that 
our Unio breeds in June, but I was fortunate enough to find a good 
number containing embryos, all of those mussels being of medium size. 
On opening the mussels carefully I found the small, white and globulai 
embryos lying, without exception, before the internal branchia 1 , thus 
proving that these Unios show the same peculiarity in hatching their 
embryos, as those of South America. It may be objected that I did 
not find the embryos in the internal branchiae, but only accumulated 
before them. To this I may reply that the mussels had been lying- 
alive in a box several days before they reached me, and according to an 
observation made by Prof. A. Forel, of Morges, Switzerland, the 
JVajadce expel their embryos when in want of oxygen. This was 
certainly here the case. Moreover the embryos are widely different 
from thosn of the Najadce of the Northern Hemisphere. Anyone! who 
knows the latter ones would not think it possible, in looking at the 
embryos of our Unio under the microscope, that they really were 
embryos of Najadw. It is well known that the embryos of the Najadce 
of the Northern Hemisphere attich themselves to the slimy skin of 


fishes for further development, and fresh-waters containing no fish are 
also devoid of Najadce. Dr. von Jhering never found embryos of 
Najadce on the skin of South American fishes, and it will be the same 
with those of New Zealand. The embryos of the South American and 
New Zealand Najadce possess neither the sharp and angulated rudi- 
mentary shell, nor a byssus to fix themselves on the skin of fishes, and 
very probably begin their existence in the sand or mud of the water, 
after having been expelled from the mother mussel. 

Now this is evidently conclusive proof of a former land communi- 
cation between New Zealand and South America, as the Najadai 
cannot live in brackish or salt water, and I think it very likely that 
the Najadce of Australia and Tasmania will show no difference in the 
mode of hatching the embryos and the structure of the latter. 

Besides the Unio we have some more mollnsca very nearly allied 
to those of South America, especially of Chile. Carthcea Kiwi, Gray, 
belongs to the family of the Orthalicidse, found in South America, 
which are mostly living on trees. Our shell has retained this mode of 
living, as the leaf-sheaths of the Nikau palm are a favourite hiding- 
place for it. Amphidoxa, of which 10 species are known in our colony, 
and of the Patulidaj the group Stephanoda may be common to Chile 
and New Zealand, though the dentition of the American species is not 
known. Tomatellina and Recdia also are found in both countries. 
There is another of our land shells which will perhaps prove to be 
closely allied to South American forms, namely, our Dandebardia 
neozelanica, Pf., of the Waikato district. 1 think Pfeiffer was quite 
wrong in jilacing this mollusc in the genus Dandebardia, which is 
known only from some parts of Europe, Western Asia, and Algeria. I 
have but litle doubt of its belonging to a South American genus, but 
the question can only be decided on examining the animal. I have not 
been able to obtain it either alive or preserved in spirits, but should be 
greatly obliged to anybody who could procure it for me. 

Very little is yet known of the anatomy of the land and fresh- 
water shells of most parts of the Southern Hemisphere, though New 
Zealand in this regard no doubt takes first rank. But of the land and 
and fresh-water mollusca of Tasmania, of a great part of Australia, 
Polynesia, and western South America, we know very little beyond the 
descriptions of the shells. Judging from the form of the shells only it 
is very hazardous to say which forms are nearly allied, and one might 
very often be mistaken. I will only mention here that Mr. Ch. Hedley 
of Sydney, on examining the animals of shells from Lord Howe Island, 
which he and Mr. Brazier considered to belong to the genus Rhytida, 
found them to be Patula. I have had similar experiences here in New 
Zealand. Hyalina corneo-fulva, Pf, I found to belong to the genus 
Amphidoxa, and what I considered to be a Diplomphahis has proved to 
form a peculiar group of Patula. 

I have satisfied myself that the land and fresh-water fauna of the 
Southern Hemisphere, with the exception of a few cosmopolitan genera, 
is entirely different from that of the Northern Hemisphere, much more 
so than the concholojrists of the latter admit. 


I quite agree with Dr. von Jhering that the study of the fresh- 
water fauna will help us to gain a proper knowledge of the geographical 
distribution of the organisms during the Secondary epoch as well as for 
the distribution of land and water during that time. 

Let us now see what relations our land and fresh-water mollusca 
show to those of Tasmania. The only Unio from Tasmania, TJ. 
Legrandi, Pett., seems to be closely allied to our TJ. aucAlandica, Gray, 
but nothing is yet known of the mode of hatching the embryos in the 
Tasmanian species. The occurrence of Unio in the rivers of the 
northern part of Tasmania only, as asserted by Messrs. Pettevd and 
Beddorue, is very interesting, especially from the geological standpoint. 
Of the very greatest importance in the occurrence of fresh-water shells 
is the genus Potamopyrgus, which is found in New Zealand and 
Tasmania only, though Tryon mentions it from Cuba. P. Fischer in 
his "Manuel de Conchologie," gives only New Zealand as the habitat of 
Potamopyrgus, and it is also not mentioned in the list of shells from 
Cuba, If Tryon's notation is correct it coincides with the genera 
Gundlacliia from Tasmania and Microphysa from New Zealand, ■which 
both are also found on the Antilles. This would lead to the supposition 
of a former land communication between Tasmania, New Zealand, and 
the Antilles ! 

Potamopyrgus is not found in Australia, and there are only two 
possibilities to account for this fact, viz. : either there was once a direct 
land communication between New Zealand and Tasmania, or it was by 
way of Southern Australia ; in the latter case we must admit that the 
genus Potamopyrgus became extinct in Australia, perhaps by being 
existent in those parts only which are now submerged. I am inclined 
to stand to the first theory. The present considerable depth of the 
Tasman sea is no obstacle to it, and it is a fact, pointed out by several 
conchologists and observed by myself, that our molluscan fauna is most 
nearly allied to that of Tasmania. In two papers which appeared in 
the " Transactions of the New Zealand Institute," vols. 22 and 23, I 
referred to the close relation between Patula subantialba and P. 
mutabilis of New Zealand, and P. aniialba and P. Eastbournensis of 
Tasmania. The genera Phytida, Patula, Pupa, Bulimus, Planorbis, 
Amphipeplea, Limncea, A nyrfribola. etc , :u-e common to both in many 
similar forms, and Gundlacliia of Tasmania has no doubt its nearest ally 
in Latia of New Zealand. We know very little at present of the 
anatomy of the Tasmanian land and fresh-water shells, except Pota- 
mojjyrgas, but I am convinced that when it is known, a much closer 
alliance between the molluscan fauna of both countries will be shown 
to exist, A further support for my standpoint is shown in the small 
number of forms common to southern Australia and New Zealand, 
if we ignore the cosmopolitan genera, which no doubt would be much 
larger had our former land communication with Tasmania only been by 
way of Australia. 

The relationship of our molluscan fauna to that of Australia is, as 
just mentioned, not very great. Besides the cosmopolitan genera there 
are only Rhytida, Paryphanta, Janella, and Amphibola especially to be 
mentioned. Of Paryphanta there is only one species (P. atramentaria ) 


known inhabiting Victoria, whilst New Zealand has five species. This 
genus is limited to New Zealand and Victoria. Helix Tarauald, II. 
reinga, and //. ophelia are North Australian species, said to have been 
found also in New Zealand, but the first two are not in any of oiu' 
collections, and the third one has not been compared from both 
localities. Judging from the hypothesis of a former land communication 
between New Zealand and Australia it is quite possible that the tln-ee 
species are common to both countries. It would be of the highest 
interest and importance to explore the high north of New Zealand for 
land and fresh-water shells. The fresh-water shells Bulimus, Planorbis, 
Ampliipeplea, and Limncea are found in nearly allied forms in New 
Zealand and Australia, and Unio mutabilis, Lea., is also -said to inhabit 
both. I have not seen any description or figure of this Unio. 

A good number of our shells point to a former land communication 
with the islands of Lord Howe, Norfolk, Kermadec, New Caledonia, 
Polynesia, and Phillipine Islands, but there remains much to be done 
before we are able to make decisive conclusions. Mr. Charles Hedley, 
of the Australian Museum, Sydney, has lately published a very good 
and interesting paper on the land and fresh-water shells of Lord Howe 
Island, in which he points out that the occurrence of the genus 
Placostylus speaks eloquently of a recent land communication extending 
on one side to New Caledonia and on the other to New Zealand. Our 
genera of Diplommatina and liealia are also mentioned from this island, 
and they are also found on Norfolk Island. With the Kermadec 
Islands we have one species common, Vitrina (Helicarion ?) ultima, 
Houss., which formerly has been found near Auckland. New Caledonia 
has the genera Rhytida, Placostylus, Janella, AmpJdbola, Melanopsis, 
Diplommatina, etc., common with New Zealand. Our genera Vitri- 
noidea and Leptopoma (probably Lagochilus), show that land formerly 
extended so far north as to the Phillipine Islands and very likely up to 
A sia. 

A large number of the New Zealand genera are also distributed 
oyer Polynesia, of which I would only mention Rhytida, Pitys, Torna- 
tellina, Bulimus, Amphibola, Diplommatina, Cyclophorus, Realia, and 
Hydrocena as the most important ones. 

Of many of our shells we do not know how far they are related to 
similar forms of Polynesia, as the anatomy of the latter is unknown at 
present. I am willing to undertake the work as far as time permits, if 
only I could get the shells with their animals, either alive or preserved 
in diluted methylated spirits, or our "national drinks," — whisky, brandy, 
gin, could be used for the same purpose. I should be very thankful to 
anybody Avho would kindly procure me land and fresh-water shells with 
the animals from any part of Polynesia, Chile, Australia, Tasmania, and 
New Zealand, and I am always ready to give the necessary instructions 
for collecting, etc. 

This paper is by no means intended to be exhaustive on the 
subject, I merely wish to point out how far the present knowledge of 
our land and fresh-water shells may help "us in geological speculations 
with regard to former extensions of land and water on the Southern 
Hemisphere, and to show how much work remains to be done. 


P.S — Since 1 wrote ray short notes on the geographical relations 
of our mollusca, I collected a number of Unio in the River Avon, and 
amongst them I found six to be in a spawning condition. About one- 
third, the central part, of the internal branchiae was entirely filled up 
with the small white embryos, just in the same way as is the case with 
the Najjadce of the Northern Hemisphere. The embryos showed the 
same aspect as those of the Unio from Albury Creek. The external 
branchiae contained a few scattered embryos only. 

T said that our Carthcea Kiwi belonged to the family of the 
Orthalieida\ In saying so I followed Mr. T. F. Cheeseman, who placed 
our shell in this family (Trans. N.Z. Inst., XIX., p. 170). This is no 
doubt a mistake. The other clay I studied the dentition of C. Kiwi, 
described and figured by Prof. F. W. Hutton in vol. XVI. of the 
Transactions, and I have come to the conclusion that it belongs to the 
genus Bidimulus, Leach, sub-genus Orthotomium, C. ik F., section 
liliabdotus, Albers, of which about five representatives are found in 
Chile. — IT. Suter. 


Introductory Class-Book of Botany, for use in New Zealand Schools. 
By George M. Thomson, F.L.S., Science Master in the Dunedin High 

Schools. (Wellington, Didsbnry, 1891.) 

Mr. Thomson has produced a book which ought to be of great 
use to science teachers. The ordinary text books of Botany are 
concerned in great measure with the plants of the Northern Hemi- 
sphere, and without access to large and costly original works it is 
often extremely difficult to get any information about the common 
native plants. On the other hand so many Northern forms are now 
thoroughly acclimatised that a book dealing only with natives would 
lie of limited application. Mr. Thomson has wisely selected his types 
partly from the native, partly from the introduced flora of the Colony, 
and his book is therefore one which should be useful both in districts 
like Dunedin, where native plants are still abundant, and in those 
like Christchurch, in which only introduced forms are to be had. 

The descriptions are clear and accurate, and are illustrated by 
three plates and by no fewer than 227 woodcuts interspersed in the 
text. The only fault one can find in them is one for which the 
author is not responsible — they are often very badly printed ; the 
drawing, however, is excellent, and the numerous sections of flowers 
and of pistils, figures of anthers, floral diagrams, etc , are just such as 
are required to aid the student who uses the book as it ought to 
be used — with the plants before him and with pocket-knife and 
magnifying glass ready to hand. 

A great deal of useful and suggestive information is given 
incidentally about such branches of the subject as insect-fertilisation, 

REVIEW. 255 

the " sleep " of plants, modes of climbing, etc., etc. This department 
might have been extended with advantage, and one would have been 
glad to see something about the general physiology of plants — the 
nature of their food and the method by -which it is taken in and 
distributed. It is always worth taking some trouble to impress upon 
students the fact that the plant is a living, feeding, breathing, 
organism, and not a mere lifeless " specimen." 

If I may venture to criticise the methods of so experienced a 
teacher I should like to say that Mr. Thomson appears to me to err 
on the side of undue elaborateness of terminology, and especially in 
introducing technical terms before the necessity for them is apparent 
to the pupil. For instance, a beginner who has only examined the 
buttercup cannot be expected to see the necessity for applying the 
term aposepalout to the calyx, but by the time he has got to the Sweet 
Pea the need for distinctive terms forces itself upon him. Some of 
the terms of the systematic botanist are quite unsuitable and even 
mischievous to beginners. What, for instance, can be mere absurd 
than to say that the cohesion of the sepals of buttercup is aposepalous, 
or in plain English that they do not cohere at all. 

But it would be manifestly unfair to blame Mr. Thomson for not 
having reformed the terminology of botanical science in a school text 
book ; he has produced a book which will sustain his reputation and 
which ought to have the effect of diffusing the study of botany — the 
best of science-subjects for the purposes of the average school. 

T. J. P. 


"On Moa Bones." — In the number of the "Journal of Science," 
just received, there are two matters mentioned, on which a few words 
may be of use to you and others interested in scientific matters. 

Mr. W. W. Smith speaks of the " ancient dog which was the 
companion of the moa-hunters " in the Middle Island. The fact of 
dogs' bones being found in company with those of the moa is, to me, 
proof positive that the birds were killed by Maoris, as the Maoris seem 
all to agree in stating that the dog was brought here by their ancestors 
from Hawaiki, which I feel certain was Central America, and not 
Polynesia, though possibly some of the eastermost Polynesian islands 
may have formed a stage on the journey, as they are all evidently 
peopled from the same source, and all agree in describing it as to the 
eastward. The native names of places in America are all Polynesian, 
and have meanings in Maori and its kindred dialects, with only such 
changes of spelling or sound as actually occur in one or other of those 
dialects ; while some of the names actually occur in New Zealand. 
Some old neighbours of mine, who had lived many years in Australia, 
often spoke of it as a curious fact, that the Negritos there had never 
domesticated the dog; for though these animals were found there in a 


wild state, they were the only placental mammals, except the ubiquitous 
rat and mouse, and had unquestionably been introduced by the 
PapuanSj who visited the northern portion of the country. There is 
therefore no reason to suppose that the Negritos, whom the Maoris 
found in New Zealand, and who have left such strong racial traces 
here, knew anything about the dog, far less possessed and tamed them. 
As regards the extinction of the moa, I do not feel sure that they are 
extinct, even now, in remote localities, as the Maoris believe in their 
existence, and it seems perfectly certain that the last of them hereabouts 
were killed with firearms, about the time of the introduction of 
Christianity, as the natives assert. I have myself found moa-bones 
which had unquestionably been cut in two, and had the flesh chopped 
off them witli keen steel weapons, and during my early residence in the 
colony, I met many Maoris who seemed to have perfect knowledge of 
the bird, and said they had often eaten its flesh. Probably it held its 
ground far longer in this wooded region than in the open country on 
the eastern sides of both islands : and this has led to the differing views 
respecting it, entertained by enquirers in the two localities. — PL C. Field. 

Migration of Eels. — Mr. S. Percy Smith contributes some 
notes as to the migrations of eels, which I can corroborate. These fish 
come up from the sea in large shoals, about the months of October and 
November, when about two inches long and as thick as a straw, and 
work their way up the tributary streams to very high levels, large 
numbers living in swamps. They surmount the waterfalls by wriggling 
upwards among the wet moss beside the falls ; and the Maoris assert 
that each fish takes hold of the tail of the one in front of him with his 
mouth, so that they all help each other to ascend. This much is 
certain. If the head of the column is dislodged, the whole fall down ; 
and the Maoris take advantage of this to catch large quantities of these 
" tuna-riki " (little eels), by holding flax baskets below a column and 
then detaching it. They then dry them for winter food, just as they do 
the whitebait, and the little eyeless fish of the volcanic springs at 
the head of the Eoto-aire lake. I know streams, tributaries of the 
Mangawhero and Wangaehu rivers, which swarm with eels that have 
surmounted falls 200 feet to 300 feet high. Again on the west side of 
the Wanganui river, near the heads, there was formerly a large swamp, 
the surplus water of which trickled into the river over a flat of sand 
several chains in width. In the autumn of 1856 or thereabouts, a 
gentleman who had been to the pilot station, and was returning late in 
the evening, found a great number of large eels wriggling their way 
across the sand from the swamp to the river, and brought a string of 
them, as heavy as lie could carry, back to town with him. For some 
nights afterwards, several of us visited the spot, and secured a large 
number. The migration lasted for about a week. The Maoris are 
perfectly well aware that the large eels migrate to the sea with the first 
autumn rains, and catch great numbers of them with traps at that 
season. The rain, no doubt, causes the water of the streams and lakes 
to rise, and so increases the pressure as to warn the fish to migrate. 
It was probably in this way that the eels of the Chatham Island lagoon, 


mentioned by Mr. Smith, knew that their way to the sea was open, 
The doubt as to the migration of eels, raised by Mr. Dingau in 1875, 
was founded on an entire mistake. He spoke of the Virginia lake here 
as having no communication with the sea, and yet as being one of the 
best fishing grounds hereabouts for eels. The actual facts are as 
follows. There are several lakes near here in which there are no eels ; 
and any Maori would, at once, tell you this was because those lakes do 
not communicate with the sea. The Virginia lake was one of these. 
Up to 1855 or 1856, there were no eels there. Just then, however, 
the main road northward from Wanganui was constructed ; and to 
enable it to be carried along the southern margin of the lake, a trench 
was dug through the lowest adjacent ground, and the water was lowered 
3 feet or so. In the following spring eels ascended to the lake in 
considerable numbers, though they had to surmount a fall of about 
20 feet in height. Several years later this trench was deepened, in 
order to enable a supply of water for a flourmill in town to be drawn 
from the lake in dry weather. After this, more eels found their way 
up to the lake, and this continued till the lake was utilised as a source 
of water supply for the town about the year 1873, when the outlet was 
closed. Mr. Dingan was a new-comer here at that time ; and it was no 
doubt through his having no knowledge of the facts which I have just 
stated, that he, in October, 1875, arrived at the erroneous conclusion 
respecting the eels in the lake. It was soon found that the lake could 
not be relied on as a source of water supply, as it drains no appreciable 
area of land ; and therefore pipes were laid to bring into it water from 
another larger lake two miles distant. This last lake is conuected with 
the sea and contains eels ; and every autumn, some of the large ones, 
endeavouring to migrate seawards, come through the pipes into the 
Virginia lake. We know this for certain, because some of them stick 
fast in the pipes and cause a stoppage. This happened twice last 
autumn to my own knowledge. The presence of eels in the Virginia 
lake is no mystery ; but they certainly are not bred there, as there are 
no small ones. Only a few people residing close by take the trouble to 
fish there, and they do not get above two or three in an evening (two is 
the most I have ever known taken by one person in an evening), but 
they are all of such a size as to be worth catching. I have fished in 
the lake repeatedly during the last two seasons, and occasionally before 
that, but have never known an eel under 21b weight to be caught there 
since the VVestmere water was introduced, and the average size gets 
larger year by year. Early in this year I saw Mr. Dingan hook one, 
which he judged to be 71b or 81b in weight, and which broke his tackle. 

There is another circumstance connected with this lake which may 
be worth mentioning. Fifteen or twenty years ago, English perch were 
put into several of our lakes by our Acclimatisation Society. In some 
of these lakes they have bred so rapidly that it is not unusual for an 
angler to take from fifty to sixty in a few hours, but he seldom gets a 
fish of over ^lb weight. There is one such lake about two miles from 
the Virginia, and similarly situated in every way except that it is far 
shallower. The largest perch that I have ever caught there weighed 
only l|ft), and the largest that I have heard of as taken from it was 

2 5 8 


only about 2iEb. In other lakes none at all have yet been caught, 
though possibly more experienced anglers might succeed in getting 
some. In the Virginia lake there seem to be but few, but they are 
very large. From two to five are the most that any one catches in an 
afternoon ; but out of several dozen which I took there last season, the 
smallest weighed ltt» 7oz., and the largest more than 3-|lb. One 
gentleman told me that he saw a number of young fry last summer, 
which he thought were perch from their being in company with large 
ones and from the redness of their fins, but no one else has noticed any. 
Several years ago the neighbouring lake which I have mentioned, got 
so low during a dry summer, that the fish in it were dying ; and the 
secietary of our Acclimatisation Society netted all that he coidd and 
took them to Virginia lake ; and latterly several of us have made a 
practice of transferring our smaller fish from the one lake to the other ; 
yet still the rule holds good that the perch increase rapidly in the one 
lake, and apparently not at all in the other. Possibly the eels in the 
Virginia lake may have something to do with it ; V>ut they do not stop 
the increase in other lakes. Some blame the shags, but these are far 
more numerous in other lakes where the tish increase notwithstanding. 
The only thing in which the Virginia lake differs from the others is 
that, many years ago, two Murray river cod were put into it, and one 
of these was certainly still alive last summer, as it was seen, and had 
grown to an immense size. It is hard to suppose however, that 
one or two fish could keep down the increase in a lake more than 
twenty acres in extent. Trout and carp were also put into the lake 
about the same time as the perch. Some of the latter are seen 
occasionally, and also what appear to be the former rise in considerable 
numbers of an evening; but no one has caught any of either, though 
we have tried to dp so repeatedly. There are numbers of small fish in 
the lake which have all the appearance of smelt, but which I believe to 
be small trout ; as on one occasion I caught a trout in a pond in 
Hampshire, which had lost its red spots and become quite silvery. — ■ 
H. C. Field. 

New Otago Plants. — In the Reports of the Dunedin Naturalists' 
Field Club, for the years 1870 to 1881, there were printed very 
complete lists of the native phanerogams and ferns growing in the 
neighbourhood of Dunedin. The lists contain some errors, which do 
not call for special notice here, my object being simply to record the 
names and localities of a numher of additional species found near 
Dunedin. Several of them have been described for the first time since 
these reports were made up. Other plants no doubt remain to be 
discovered in the district, but it is unlikely that any future list of 
discoveries in the district will reach such length as the present one. 

The 7nost interesting novely to the Dunedin district is Trichomanes 
coleiisoi, Hook. f. This delicate fern grows in the valley of Morrison's 
Creek, one of the western feeders of the Water of Leith. It has been 
very plentiful at one time in the spots where it still grows, but the 
clearing off of the bush has made the habitat too dry and open for it to 


thrive under the altered conditions. Probably, however, it occurs in 
other localities in Dunedin, and some of these may well be more 
favourable to its survival in the district. 

Ranunculus tenukaulis, Cheesenian- -Flagstaff Hill. 

Coprosma rubra, Petrie — Town Belt. 

Coj>rosma areolata, Cheeseman — Town Belt. 

Coprosma rigida, Cheeseman — Saddle Hill ; Opoho. 

Olearia fragrantissima, Petrie — Vauxlmll ; Saddle Hill. 

Celmisia linearis, Armstrong — Maungatua (2900 ft). 

Gnaphalium Troversii, Hook, f- Town Belt; Flagstaff; Signal HiP. 

Helichrysum Purdiei, Petrie — Vauxhall and Bothesay. 

Forstera tenella, Hook. f. — Flagstaff and Maungatua. 

Phyllachne Haastii, Berggren — Maungatua. I am indebted to T. 
Kirk, Esq., F.L S., for detecting this species. 

Dracophyllum prostration, Kirk — Maungatua 

Gratiola nana, Bentham — The Flat; Strath Taieri road. 

Glossostigma submersum, Petrie — Lake Waihola. 

Plantago uniflora, Hook. f. var. — Tomahawk Lagoon. 

Atriplex Buchanani, Kirk — Gathered near Dunedin by the Bev. 
Mr. North, as I hear from T. Kirk, Esq., F.L.S. 

Corysanthes rotundifolia, Hook. f. — Waitati Valley. 

Pterostylis mutica, Br. — Outrara and Lee Stream. 

Thclymitra pulchella, Hook. f. — Signal Hill (rare). 

Potamoga;ton pectinatus, L. — Lake Waihola. 

Zannicliellia palustris, L. — Waikouaiti Lagoon. 

Lepihena biloculata, Kirk — Taieri Plain (ditches) 

Zostera nana, Both — Otago Harbour 

Astelia grandis, Hook. f. — Town Belt. 

Juncus la.mprocarpus, Ehr — Sawyer's Bay. 

Gaimardia setacen, Hook. f. — Maungatua. 

Cenlrolepis pallida, Bentham — Maungatua. 

Sclutsnus conclnnus, Hook f. — Waikouaiti Beach. 

Cladium glomeratum, Br. — Signal Hill. 

Oreobolus strictus, Berggren — Flagstaff Hill. 

Uncinia ccespitosa, Boott — Pine Hill (Bush). 

Uncinia rupestris, Baoul — Town Belt. 

Uncinia rubra, Petr ; e — Signal Hill. 

Uncinia, rigida, Petrie — Waitati Valley. 

Uncinia riparia, Br. — Town Belt. 

Carex colensoi, Boott — Maungatua. 

Carex testacea, Solander — Environs of Dunedin. 

Carex Buchanani, Berggren — Lake Waihola. 

Deyeuxia, Billardieri, Kunth — Lawyer's Head. 

Danthonia pilosa, Br. — Signal Hill. 

Deschampsia tenella, Petrie — Morrison's Creek. 

Poa pusilla, Berggren — Signal Hill. 

Poa Kirkii, Buchanan — Maungatua. 

Frstu<;a scoparia, Hook. f. — Brighton. 

Triodia australis, Petrie — Maungatua. 

Trichomanes colensoi, Hook. f. — Morrison's Creek. 

— D. Petri f. 


The Disappearance of Spear-Grass- — It is well known that the 
large species of Spear-grass ( 'Aciphylla ) are rapidly disappearing in all 
parts of Otago, and it is very probable that this once common and 
characteristic element in the native vegetation of the district will soon 
become as rare as it was formerly abundant. The causes of this change 
in the prevailing vegetation of large trusts of country seem to merit 
some consideration. It might be thought that plants naturally so 
admirably defended against the attacks of herbivorous animals would 
be practically exempt from their ravages All kinds of stock eat the 
foliage readily enough, but the larger animals are for the most part 
prevented from indulging any liking for it. by the habit of growth of 
the plants and the dense array of sharp points that meet their lips and 
tongue. Rabbits however are not so easily repelled, for owing to the 
small size of their heads they can attack single leaflets while keeping 
clear of those standing near them. Accordingly spear-grass plants are 
eaten by them more or less at all seasons, but especially during the 
winter and in elevated situations where snow lies on the ground for 
considerable periods In such stations the plants suffer very seriously 
from their attacks, and in many extensive districts have been already 
all but exterminated. As a rule the leaves are eaten right back to the 
ground and the plants die off at once. In lower situations the rabbits 
are not so troublesome, but even there the disappearance of the plants, 
though less rapid and complete, is going on steadily and surely. 1 do 
not know to what age the life of a spear-grass plant may extend, but it 
can hardly exceed fifteen or twenty years. In that time we may 
suppose that all the well-established plants will die off from old age. 
Seeds are produced as a rule in great abundance, but in spite of this 
the number of young plants that may be observed growing up is very 
limited, and in ground that is well stocked and closely cropped hardly 
any are to be seen. On the other hand if a patch of land is securely 
fenced against cattle and sheep great numbers of plants of all ages are 
to be found. This may be very well seen in the somewhat extensive 
railway enclosures in the valley of Manuka Creek on the Lawrence 
branch railway line. Within this enclosure plants of Aciphylla 
squarrosa of all ages abound, and easily hold their own against all 
competitors in the struggle for existence. Outside the railway fences 
on the other hand plants of any age are extremely rare, even on land 
that has never been touche 1 by cultivation, and seedlings are hardly to 
be met with anywhere. Rabbits are not very plentiful in this district, 
and the disappearance of the spear-grass cannot in any way be attributed 
to their interference. Everything goes to shew that as the old plants 
die off, the young ones are not suffered to grow up to take their place. 
This is most likely due to the fact that cattle and sheep readily eat up 
the tender and less pungent, rigid, an 1 compact leaves of the young 
plants. There cannot, I think, be any doubt that stock readily eat the 
foliage when they can attack it without danger from the prickles, and 
this they can easily do when the plants are in the seedling state. The 
rapid disappearance of spear-grass therefore, seems due in the lowlands 
to cattle and sheep eating up the tender seedlings, and in the higher 
and bleaker situations to the attacks of rabbits, more especially in the 
winter season. In rabbit infested country of considerable elevation, the 


larger Aciphyllas at any rate are doomed to speedy extermination. In 
the closely stocked lowlands their extinction though less rapid seems 
equally certain. And it is chiefly in stations intermediate in elevation 
between these and where the country is not very closely stocked, that 
these interesting and curious plants are likely to survive as a permanent 
but scarce element in the native vegetation. — D. Petkie. 

Note on Leucopogon Fraseri, A. Cunn. — In May of the present 
year, I gathered in the neighbourhood of Kelso, a number of specimens 
of Leucopogon Fraseri, in which the inflorescence presents a peculiarity 
which I have not seen noticed in any account of the plant. The flowers 
instead of being solitary occur in pairs that are sessile on the ends of 
the short peduncles. In these specimens a solitary flower on each 
peduncle is quite exceptional. Each flower of the pair is sometimes of 
the same size as the other, but more commonly one is larger and better 
developed than the other, which is however by no means rudimentary. 

I do not know whether it is generally known that the flowers of 
this species are well formed in the autumn, and the buds undergo but 
slight further growth before opening in spring. The stamens and pistil 
are wrapped up in a very dense coating of long hairs that grow 
outwards and downwards from the upper half of the corolla. It is 
evident that one of the chief functions of this outgrowth of the corolla 
is to shelter the reproductive organs contained in the bud, which are 
exposed to all the frosts of the sharp winter of this district. It has 
been supposed that the sole use of the hairy coating of the corolla was 
to minister to cross fertilisation by the agency of insects, but it is more 
likely that its primary use is to serve for the safe nursing of the bud 
during the winter. This view is in no way inconsistent with its 
further use in promoting cross fertilisation ; the double use, indeed, 
affords only another illustration of the fact that an organ originally 
fitted to serve one purpose, is often turned to account for another of 
secondary, but still of imjiortant utility to the organism. 

In Pentachondra pwmila, Br., a similar coating of hairs invests the 
interior of the corolla, and it would be interesting to know, if in this 
case also, it was primarily designed to form a protection for the bud 
during the winter season. I have not as yet had opportunity to 
examine the winter state of this plant, but I hope soon to be able to 
throw some light on the question. 

In the " Handbook of the New Zealand Flora," the specific name 
of the present species of Leucopogon is printed Frazeri, but in 
Cunningham's " Precursor " the name is printed Fraseri. I do not 
know on what grounds the spelling Frazeri, was adopted by Sir Joseph 
Hooker. — D. Petrie. 

History of the JVIoas. — From a popular article under the above 
title, written by Professor Hutton. for the "Weekly Press," we extract 
the following concluding portion : — 


Throughout the pliocene period the Moas flourished greatly; but 
in the pleistocene they must, in the South Island, have died in large 
numbers, for how else could such immense quantities of bones have got 
together in the peat-beds at Glenmark and at Hamilton in Central 
Otago. It has often been suggested that flocks of birds, attempting to 
escape from fires, rushed into the swamps and perished. But when we 
remember that these Moas died thousands of years ago, long before 
there were any human inhabitants to light fires, it will be seen that 
this surmise is quite out of the question. Only two hypotheses appear 
to be possible to account for the facts. Either the birds walked into the 
swamp and were drowned or else their dead bodies were washed in. 
The first hypothesis is probably the explanation of the deposit at Te 
Aute near Napier, because many of the leg bones were found upright in 
their natural position. But at Glenmark and at Hamilton the bones 
were lying in all directions, as often upside down as in any other 
position, and the peat-beds were only a few feet thick, and filled with 
bones up to the very top. We cannot, therefore, suppose that these 
Moas were swamped, and there is evidence in both of these cases to 
shew that the dead bodies of birds were washed in by floods. We find 
corroborative evidence of this in the alluvial plains of Central Otago, 
for these always contain numerous bones wherever a stream enters 
them from the hills. 

But how are we to account for the number of dead birds washed 
down from the hills? There are two remarkable facts connected with 
these bone deposits at Hamilton and Glenmark. One is the very large 
proportion of bones of young birds from one-half to three-quarters grown ; 
and the other is the absence of moa ears shell. These two facts seem to 


show that the birds perished in the autumn or the winter, when the 
birds of the year were not full grown, and when the females did not 
contain any hardened eggs. Also, it is evident that dead moas could 
not be washed into swamps under the present climatic conditions, and 
the explanation of the puzzle must lie in the fact that in pleistocene 
times, when these bone deposits were formed, the climate was very 
different from what it is now. At that time the eccentricity of the 
earth's orbit was very great, and when winter in the Southern Hemi- 
sphere happened in aphelion, long cold winters were followed by short 
and very hot summers. It seems probable, therefore, that the early 
winter snows killed large numbers of moas and other birds on the hills, 
that their bodies were floated down by summer floods and avalanches 
caused by the melting snow, and that they were deposited in hollows at 
the foot of the hills. As the pleistocene period passed way the climate 
got more equable and the surviving moas once more increased and 
multiplied, until they were ultimately exterminated by the hand of 

All are now agreed that the moas were exterminated by the 
ancestors of the Maoris, and the only question upon which opinion is 
still divided is, How Ions was this &"o1 The case seems to me to stand 
thus. In the North Island there are several names of places in which 
the word moa is incorporated, but in the great number of Maori tales 
and ] oems which have been collected by Europeans the allusions to the 


bird are very slight and obscure, generally, indeed, fabulous. There is 
also one very ancient poem called "The Lament of Ikaherengatu," in 
which the phrase " Ka ngaro i te ngaro a te moa " (Lost as the moa is 
lost) occurs, which certainly shows that the bird was not in existence 
when the poem was composed. The so called traditions of its habits 
appear to be, in large part at least, late deductions from these words 
and phrases, and we must conclude that, in the North Island, the moa 
was exterminated by the Maoris soon after their arrival in New 
Zealand ; that is not less than 400 or 500 years ago. 

In the South Island there are no names of places containing the 
word moa ) but here remains have been found — either skeletons lying 
on the surface or bones with skin and ligaments still attached — which 
give the impression that the birds were living here not more than ten 
or twelve years ago. Now the bones which are said to have strewn the 
surface so abundantly when the first settlers came, had all disappeared 
in fifteen years ; so that it is plain either some change in the surrounding 
conditions caused the bones to decay, or that none of the bones which 
were so abundant in 1861, were more than fifteen years old. But as 
we cannot believe that moas were abundant in Otago in 1846, we must 
fall back on the opinion that the fires lighted by the early settlers 
to clear the scrub so altered the conditions under which the bones had 
been preserved that they soon decayed, in which case we cannot say how 
long the bones may have been lying there. It is something the same 
with those bones which still have dried skin and ligaments attached. 
They are so fresh that, unless the birds lived a few years ago, they must 
have been preserved under specially favourable circumstances ; and 
there are reasons for thinking that the small district of Central Otago. 
in which alone these remains have been found, is one specially favourable 
for preserving animal remains. If this be so we cannot say for how 
many years they may have been preserved, perhaps for centuries, and 
as we have every reason to believe, upon the authority of the Rev. J. 
W. Stack, that the ancestors of the Ngai Tahu, who have inhabited the 
South Island for the last 200 or 250 years, never had any personal 
knowledge of the birds, we must allow that the moa has been extinct 
for at least that time. On the other hand, it is quite certain that the 
moa was exterminated by the Maoris, and the Maoris are nob supposed 
to have inhabited the South Island for more than 500 years, so that the 
time of extinction must fall between these dates. It seems improbable 
that the Ngatimamoe, the last remnant of whom inhabited the West 
Coast sounds a few years ago, were moadiunters. The moa-hunters of 
the South Island were not cannibals, and as Te-rapuwai and Waitaha, 
the tribes who preceded the Ngatimamoe, are said to have been peaceful 
and to have '"covered the land like ants," it lends support to the Maori 
tradition that it was they who exterminated the moa and made the 
shell heaps on the beach. If this be so the moas were exterminated in 
the South Island about 300 or 400 years ago ; that is, about a hundred 
years later than in the North Island. 



Illustrations of British Fungi, by M. C. Cooke, M.A., LL.D., 8 
volumes, Williams and Norgate, London. The Handbook of British 
Fungi, Second Edition, Parts i., ii., and iii., by M. C. Cooke, M.A., 
LL.D., Williams and Norgate. 

This fine work, " Illustrations of British Fungi," has occupied 
fully ten years in publication, and forms the first part of an Atlas to 
Dr. Cooke's revised edition of the " Handbook of British Fungi." It 
was originally intended to include representatives of all the Hymen- 
omycetous Fungi found in the British Isles, but the issue is for the 
present arrested with the completion of the Agaricini, owing to the 
death of many subscribers, and the indisposition of others to continue 
their support to the end. 

The work contains 1,200 coloured plates, representing 1,400 
species and numerous varieties, many of which are figured for the 
iirst time ; it is unquestionably the finest series of drawings of 
Agaricini that has been published in any part of the world. The 
plates are beautifully drawn and not over-coloured, the original 
drawings having in nearly every instance been made and coloured for 
the printer by the author, while the printing, of the later portion of 
the work more particularly, is nearly all that could be desired by the 
most exacting. 

Sowerby's coloured figures of British Fungis, commenced in 
1797, contained only 165 species of Agaricini, while the larger and 
more recent work of Krombholz only gives 230 : the present work, 
which is restricted to the species found in the British Isles, comprises 
fully one-fourth of all known species : it is therefore not surprising to 
find that the work has received a large measure of support in British 
colonies and foreign countries. 

When the putrescible nature of most of the Agaricini is con- 
sidered, and the paucity of opportunities for close observation of 
many species is taken into account, it will appear to be no cause for 
wonder that differences of opinion exist as to the specific validity of 
many forms, and the right identification of others. The author has, 
however, succeeded in reducing errors of this kind to a minimum, 
and the wonder is, not that a few errors have crept into the work, 
but that they are net vastly more numerous. 

The descriptive portion of the work forms parts 1, 2, and 3, of 
second edition of the " Handbook of British Fungi; " the descriptions 
although brief are remarkably lucid and easily understood. In some 
instances, however, it is matter for regret that synonyms are not 
more freely given. 

While the completion of the Agaricini affords good ground for 
congratulation, it is certainly cause for regret that the whole of the 
gill-bearing fungi of the British Isles are not represented : Boletus, 
Polyporus, Ilydaum, Auricidaria, Clavaria, Tremella, are not nearly as 

REVIEW. 265 

well known as those included in the "Illustrations," although in 
some respects they are more interesting ; it is hoped that the four 
additional volumes required to illustrate these genera may be issued 
at some future date. 

The Agaricini of New Zealand have received but little attention; 
about 30 species are described in the " Handbook of N.Z. Flora," and 
although this number has been trebled of late years, it can scarcely 
amount to more than a small fraction of the t jtal, even if we admit 
that this group is less developed with us than in the British Islands. 
The reason for this doubtless lies in their putrescible nature, the 
difficulty of preserving them, and the difficulty attending identification 
in the almost total absence of works of reference. For this reason it 
is hoped that a copy of this grand work may speedily be found on the 
shelves of the libraries of the various societies affiliated with the New 
Zealand Institute. No worthier application of their funds could 
possibly be made. 

T. K. 


On February 3rd, Professor E. C. Stirling, of Adelaide University, 
read a paper on this remarkable animal before the Royal Society of 
South Australia, The following particulars taken from this paper 
are extracted from a notice by Mr. P. L. Sclater, which appeared iu 
Nature of September 10th : — 

" It appears that the first specimen was captured by Mr. Wm. 
Coulthard, manager of the Frew Paver Station and other northern 
runs belonging to the Willowie Pastoral Company. Attracted by 
some peculiar tracks, on reaching his camp one evening on the Finke 
Paver, while traversing the Idracoura Station with cattle, he followed 
them up, and found the animal lying under a tussock of spinifex or 
j)orcupine grass (Triodia irrilans). Though he is an old bush hand, 
with all the watchful alertness and powers of observation usually 
acquired by those who live lives of difficulty and danger, this was the 
first and only specimen of the animal he ever saw. As previously 
stated, this found its way to the Museum through the agency of 
Messrs. Benham and Molineux. The three received subsequently 
shortly afterwards, as well as the last lot recently secured by Mr. 
Bishop during our journey through the country, were also found on 
the Idracoura Station. This is a large cattle-run comprising several 
hundred square miles of country in the southern part of the Northern 
Territory of South Australia, which lies immediately to the west of 
the telegraph line between the Charlotte Waters and Alice Springs 
Stations. The great dry water-course of the Finke River, which runs 
from north-west to south-east, bounds the run for some eighty miles 
•on the north and north-east. Its distance from Adelaide is, roughly 


speaking, a thousand miles. Flats and sandhills of red sand, more or 
less well covered with spinifex and acacias constitute a large portion 
of the country, and the rainfall is inconsiderable. Curiously enough, 
all the specimens of Notdryctes hitherto received by me have been 
found within a circumscribed area, four miles from the Idracoura 
Head Station, which is situated on the Finke watercourse itself, and 
almost invariably amongst the sandhills. I have it, however, on very 
fair authority, that the animal has been seen on the TJndoolya Station, 
which lies immediately south of the McDonnell Ranges, and that one 
also was found drowned after heavy rain at Tempe Downs, a station 
situated about 120 miles west-south-west of Alice Springs. These 
points will sufficiently define its range, so far as is known at present. 
They do not appear to be very numerous. Very few of the white 
men in the district have seen it, even though constantly travelling ; 
and not many of the natives whom I came across recognised the well- 
executed drawing T carried with me. It must be remembered, 
however, that I did not pass through the exact spot which so far 
appears to be its focus of distribution. Nor did a very considerable 
reward, which I offered, cause any specimens to be forthcoming 
between the first lot received, over two years ago, and that recently 
secured during my trans-continental trip. With a few exceptions, 
the animals have been captured by the aboriginals, who, with their 
phenomenal powers of tracking, follow up their traces until they are 
caught. For this reason they can only be found with certainty after 
rain, which sets the surface of the sand, and enables it to retain 
tracks that would immediately be obliterated when it is dry and 
loose. Nor are they found except during warm weather, so that the 
short period of semi-tropical summer rains appears to be the favourable 
period fcr their capture. For this suitable combination of wet and 
warmth, Mr. Bishop had to waif three months before he was able to 
get them, and in all cases they were found during the day-time. 
Perpetual burrowing seems to be the characteristic feature of its life. 
Both .Mr. Bishop and Mr. Benham, who have seen the animal in its 
native state, report that, emerging from the sand, it travels on the 
surface for a few feet at a slowish pace, with a peculiar sinuous 
motion, the belly much flattened against the ground, while it rests on 
the outsides of its fore-paws, which are thus doubled under it. It 
leaves behind it a peculiar sinuous triple track, the outer impressions, 
more or less interrupted, being caused by the feet, and the central 
continuous line by the tail, which seems to be pressed down in the 
rear. Constantly on the look-out for its tracks, I was often deceived 
by those of numerous lizards, which are somenvhat similar in these 

" It enters the sand obliquely, and travels under ground either 
for a few feet or for many yards, not apparently reaching a depth of 
more than two or three inches, for whilst underground its progress 
can often be detected by a slight cracking or moving of the surface 
over its position. In penetrating the soil, free use as a borer is made 
of the conical snout with its horny protecting shield, and the powerful 
scoop-like claws (fore) are also early brought into play. As it 
disappears from sight, the hind-limbs, as well, are used to throw the 


sand backwards, which falls in again behind it as it goes, so that no 
permanent tunnel is left to mark its course. Again emerging, at 
some distance, it travels for a few feet upon the surface, and then 
descends as before. T could hear nothing of its making, or occupying 
at any time, permanent burrows. Both my informants laid great 
stress on the phenomenal rapidity with which it can burrow, as 
observed in both a state of nature and captivity." 

To these notes of Prof. Stirling I may add the remark that this 
is certainly one of the most extraordinary discoveries in zoology made 
of late years. Notoryctes typhlops, as shown by Prof. Stirling's full 
and elaborate description and figures, is unquestionably a new and 
perfectly isolated form of Marsupial life, and must lie referred to a 
new section of the order Marsupialia. We must all congratulate 
Prof. Stirling on his success in bringing before the world such an 
important novelty. 



D lined in, 13th October, 1891. — Professor Gibbons, President, in 
the chair. 

New members. — Messrs. Pi. IT. Walcot and I). Harris Hastings. 


A letter was read from the Lands department intimating that the 
necessary steps had been taken to set apart Resolution Island as a place 
for preserving native fauna and flora ; but that no such steps could now 
be taken regarding Little Barrier Island, as it was not Crown land. 

Mr. A. Morton, secretary of the Australasian Association of 
Science, wrote stating that it is absolutely necessary that the titles 
of all papers to be read at the meeting at Hobart should be sent in by 
the beginning of next month, as the programme is to be printed early 
in December. 

Paper..— (1) "The History of the Greenstone," by F. R. Chapman. 
In his introductory remarks, Mr. Chapman said that all present were 
no doubt familiar with greenstone, which was the material of many of 
the implements and favourite ornaments of the Maori race, and which 
was now worked up by lapidaries, and was to be seen in every jeweller's 
shop in the colony. This stone was specially interesting in that it was 
found only in two or three places in the world. A similar mineral was 
found somewhere in Central Asia ; in the great range between China 
and Tartary, and it was used in China for ornaments, and to some 
extent for implements, and had found its way at very remote times into 
Europe. What he had to describe was the greenstone of the Maoris. 
There had been some correspondence on this subject between Professor 
Ulrich and a. leading specialist on the subject in Germany, and he (Mr. 


Chapman) had been asked by Professor Ulrica to assist, and had 
entered into correspondence with Maoris in both islands, and had 
collected a considerable amount of information, which had been to some 
extent published in Germany. The paper he now presented set forth 
the information he had gathered on the subject during the last 18 or 19 
years. True greenstone was found at only one place in the colony. 
The Teremakau and Arahura rivers on the west coast of this island, 
and the beach between them comprised the whole extent of country 
where the true greenstone was found in this colony. There was 
another place at Milford Sound where there was a kind of greenstone 
largely used by the Maoris, but it was said to be a chemically different 
stone from the true greenstone. However, supposing this was really 
greenstone, the localities where this mineral could be obtained were 
very restricted. .Recently it was said it had been found somewhere in 
America, and that some kind was found in New Caledonia, or on one 
of the Pacific islands, but practically, Tartary and New Zealand were 
the only spots where it was known. Mr. Chapman then, with the aid 
of a map and numerous specimens of greenstone in different stages of 
manufacture, gave a very large amount of information respecting this 
rare and beautiful stone. The old Maori roads from the east to the 
west coast, along the Waitaki and Clutha rivers, and over the Haast 
Pass to the greenstone country were indicated, and the methods of 
manufacture by cutting the stone with sandstone or other stone, and 
sand and water, were explained, and so, also, was the drilling process, 
which must have demanded positively maivellous patience. Many of 
the specimens were the property of Mr. J. White, of Anderson's Bay, 
others belonged to Mr. Chapman, the Maori drill was lent from Dr. 
Hocken's collection of Maori curios, and a beautiful " mere," which was 
given by Titokowaru to the Native Minister as an emblem of sub- 
mission, was lent by Sir 11. Stout. As showing the quantity of 
greenstone that must have been brought from the West Coast, he 
said that it was no exaggeration to say that not less than 1,000 
greenstone articles, had, to his knowledge, been found within 20 miles 
of Dunedin. Mr. Chapman also made reference to the Maori wars, 
some of them wars of extermination, such as Te Rauparaha's, which had 
been urged for the possession of the highly-valued greenstone. 

Dr. Hocken said it was most satisfactory to know that at last they 
had the history of the greenstone written, as he was sure it deserved to 
be, because it was not only of interest to people here but to scientists in 
Europe. Mr. Chapman had given enormous labour and research to the 
subject, and had pretty well exhausted it. He was, however, inclined 
to think that the favourite gi eenstones amongst the Maoris were not the 
beautiful specimens, but the very dark ones, because they were the 
hardest and the most suitable for drill points and implements. 


Dunedin, November 10th, 1891.— Prof. F. B. de M. Gibbons, 
President, in the chair. 

New member. — Mr. J. Dove Dunn. 


Papers. — (1) " Note on the nest and habits oiArbanitis 1/uttoni," 
by P. Goyen, F.L.S. The tube which this spider inhabits is branched. 
The entrance to the main tube is quite uncovered, but the branch 
which makes a more or less acute angle with the main tube extends 
to the surface of the ground, and is there covered by a rude sort of 
hinged lid, which so closely resembles the surrounding surface as to 
be indistinguishable from it. The spider is too heavy and sluggish to 
escape from its enemies or catch its prey in the open. It therefore 
lies in the branch of its tube, whence it can attack its prey in flank or 
rear ; or, if an enemy too powerful for it should enter its tube, it can 
make its escape to the surface. The author exhibited specimens of 
the tubes. 

(2) " Description of a new species of Marptusa, with notes on its 
habits," by P. Goyen, F.L.S. This spider is found along the coast of 
Otago on cliffs and rock, just above, at, or just below high-water 
mark. These rocks are frequented by two or three species of flies 
which the spider resembles in colour and mode of progression. " So 
striking is this resemblance that I for some time mistook it for a fly. 
The resemblance extends to the habit of running forward quickly, 
stopping, and rubbing its pulpi, just as a fly rubs its fore-legs, until 
it is within striking distance of its prey, when it jumps upon it with 
unerring aim." The author considers the case exceedingly interesting 
as affording in a class of animals in which it has not been before 
observed a striking example of aggressive mimicry. 

(3) " On the genus Aplornis with more especial reference to 
Aptornin defossor, Owen," by A. Hamilton. The author gave a 
historical account of the various finds of bones of Aptorni*, from those 
sent home by the Eev. W. Williams to Dr. Buckland in 1842, to the 
present time. The last and most important find of these bones was 
made in 1889, in some limestone caves in Southland by Mr. W. S. 
Mitchell of Lake Manapouri .Station. Six or seven individual birds 
are represented, and in four cases the skeletons can be reconstructed 
without much doubt as to the bones having belonged to individual 
birds. Most important of all, the bones are not mixed with those of 
any other species. Descriptions of the most important bones are 
given in the paper, and the author exhibited an almost complete 
skeleton of this species. 

(4) " On Moa gizzard-stones," by A. Hamilton. This paper 
describes the occurrence of numbers of heaps of gizzard-stones, in 
some cases along with small quantities of fine sand, on the peat- 
mosses of Swampy Hill, near Dunedin, at an elevation of over 2,000 
feet. In two cases the heaps were found in a completely isolated 
position among the peat, the stones being held more or less together 
by interlaced masses of comminuted vegetable matter of a pale 
yellow colour, quite distinct from the hue of the enclosing peat. 
Along with much matter wdiich could not be distinguished, this 
vegetable material was found to contain great numbers of seeds of 
Pentachondra and Ccqyrosma. The weights of stones in the two 
masses were respectively ih and 61b ; the largest separate pebble 
being a little over lioz. The nearest locality from which quartz 


pebbles of the kind found, can be obtained, is at the outcrop of the 
schist formation, a distance of about 4 miles The samples of 
peat were found to have a distinctly acid reaction, and to this cause is 
attributed the almost complete absence of moa bones, the only portion 
found being the decalcified proximal end of a metatarsal bone. A 
similar deposit of gizzard-stones, with absence of bones, occurs near 
Mt. Excelsior, on the Mararoa station. Mr. F. R. Chapman has 
found similar collections of gizzard- stones and sand at Maungatua, a 
mountain range about 3,000 feet high, some 20 miles to the south- 
west of Duneclin. 

(•">) " On some Maori bone pendants from Otago," by A. Hamilton. 

(6) "On the cleistogamic flowers of Mdicope simplex" by- Geo. 
M. Thomson, F.L S. In the ordinary form of this species the flowers 
open when ready for fertilisation, the 4 petals spreading laterally, 
and exhibiting 8 stamens in two whorls, of which those opposite the 
petals are longer, or rather stand at a higher elevation than do the 
sepaline stamens. In the 4 carpels which are normally produced, the 
styles are united by their whole length. When botanising on Pigeon 
Island, Lake Wanaka, two years ago, the author observed that in the 
numerous plants of Mdicope simplex growing there, the fruit seemed 
to be developed directly from the flower buds. On examination and 
comparison of spirit-specimens, it was found that these flowers were 
truly cleistogamic. The petals did not open in any case; the sepaline 
stamens were present but with greatly reduced filaments, while those 
of the petaline whorl were represented by rudiments only. The 
carpels were all free and their styles greatly shortened so as 
to remain inside the unopened flowers. No cause was assigned for 
the prevalence of this cleistogamic form. 

(7) "Notes on sea-fishes," by Geo. M. Thomson, F.L.S. A 
number of years ago, the late Mr. VV. Arthur entered into communi- 
cation with various fishermen, harbour masters, and others, with the 
object of inducing them to keep records of the fish taken by them. 
On his death his papers were handed over to the author, who 
extended their range by getting the Marine Department of the 
Government to issue forms to the various lighthouse keepers round 
the coast. Duplicates of these forms which had now been accumu- 
lating for some years were furnished to the author, and the present 
paper represents a summary of these observations. While many 
returns had been kept in a very perfunctory manner, others had been 
carefully filled up. The present paper contained a few points of value 
in regard to the range of our common sea fish, their food, time of 
spawning, etc., etc. 

(8) "Notes on some New Zealand Amphipoda and Isopoda," by 
Charles Chilton, M.A. 

(9) " On the metallurgy of silver," by D. Wilkinson, F.R.S.M. 

(10) Professor Parker exhibited and made remarks upon a 
species of Branchellion, a leech with external gills belonging to the 
family Rhyncobdellidse, and occurring as an external parasite on the 
common skate (Raja nasuta). A single specimen had been found 


some years previously ; but on the present occasion a skate, dissected 
in the biological laboratory, presented a colony of thirty or forty of 
the parasites on an area of three or four inches in circumference. 
They varied in length from about J in. to 1J in., and were all so 
firmly attached by the posterior sucker that on their removal the 
fish's skin presented a number of smooth circular convex areas. The 
smaller specimens, treated with Flemming's chrom osm. acetic 
solution, flattened under a compressor, and mounted entire, make 
very beautiful microscopic objects. The only species of this in- 
teresting genus mentioned in the ordinary works of reference is 1L 
t'orpedinis of Europe, a parasite on the torpedo. If the present form 
turns out to be new it might be called B. rajce. Professor Parker 
also mentioned that he had found at Port Chalmers a single specimen 
of the polychtctous worm (Dujardinia), interesting from the length of 
its cirri. 

(11) Professor Parker called attention to a very beautiful and 
accurate model in plaster of paris of the neighbourhood of Dunedin, 
made to scale for the Otago Museum by Mr. A Hamilton, Registrar 
of the University, and expressed the opinion that the teaching of 
geography in the primary schools of the colony would be vastly 
improved if similar models could be obtained and employed, instead 
of compelling the children, as was too frequently the case, to learn 
lists of names of natural features, regarding which they could form 
no accurate opinion. 

The annual report was then read and adopted. The following is 
a brief extract : — ■ 

Six meetings were held during the session. At these 17 papers 
were read, and one lecture on the Early History of New Zealand was 
delivered. Six new members have been added to the roll. The 
library has received a number of additions. The ordinary revenue 
was £204 lis. 0d., (including a balance of £97 9s. 0d.), while the 
expenditure was £91 17s. 5d., leaving a balance in hand of £1 12 13s. 
7d. There is also on fixed deposit a sum of £286 13s. 5d. 

The following were elected office-bearers for the next year: — ■ 
President: C. W. Adams, Esq., C.E.; Vice-Presidents: Prof. Gibbons, 
M.A., and Dr. Hocken ; Hon. Sec. : A. Hamilton, Esq.; Hon. Treas. : 
E. Melland, Esq.; Auditor: D. Brent, M.A.; Council: Prof. Parker, 
F.R.S., Prof. Scott, M.D., Rev. H. Belcher, M.A., LL.D., Messrs. F. 
R. Chapman, Alexr. Purdie, M.A., Geo. M. Thomson, F.L.S., and D. 
Wilkinson, F.R.S.M. 

The retiring president then delivered an address on " The rise 
and development of the science of Political Economy." 


Wellington, 29th July, 1891.— E. Tregear, Esq, President, in the 

Papers. — (1) "On the Necessity for the Establishment of an 
Expert Agricultural Department in New Zealand," by W. M. Maskell, 


F.R.M.S. (Abstract). Mr. Maskell said that, because there was a 
gentleman in the Cabinet with the title of Minister of Agriculture, and 
under him a Department of Lands and a Department of Stock, most 
people in the colony were under the impression that there is in New 
Zealand a Department of Agriculture properly established. This 
however was not the case, the titles mentioned being practically (except 
perhaps for Stock) misnomers. In point of fact there is not at present 
in the country any official and responsible machinery for investigating 
the various enemies to cultivation and for informing and advising 
cultivators thereon. Agriculture, he might say in passing, was not 
necessarily farming : there are large numbers of persons engaged in, 
or interested in, gardening, tree-growing, fruit-growing, floriculture, 
cultivation of all sorts, who are not farmers, and this should be borne 
in mind, as will be mentioned presently. Now, on the appearance of a 
new enemy to the cultivator, of a new pest amongst crops or trees or 
gardens, or even of a new friend or a new method of procedure, what 
has to be done by the existing machinery? There is nobody in the 
colony placed in an official and responsible position, and the so-called 
Minister for Agriculture has to go outside his department and obtain 
amateur advice. Take, for instance, the "Tauranga sheep disease "as 
it is called : professors of different colleges are sent for to investigate it, 
and that, is not a college professor's duty. Take the Hessian fly : an 
official in the Post Office who happens to be an excellent entomologist, 
is sent up to attend to it. Take the so-called " blights " : recourse is 
had to an officer of the university ; and when a friendly beetle comes to 
help men to fight these "blights," again the university officer is appealed 
to. Tn such cases as the appearance of the horse bot-fly in Canterbury 
and Auckland, or the fear of some fungus-pest injurious to apple 
growers, there is no official responsible person to whom the colonists 
can go for advice or help. It is not a question of ability or of desire to 
be useful. All the persons just named have no doubt always been 
glad to assist and would always be ready to give the Government and 
the country their very best services : and undoubtedly the advice 
tendered to them has been thoroughly honest and well-considered. But 
it is essentially and necessarily amateur and irresponsible, and what is 
wanted is the stamp of an expert official who can command rather than 
deserve public confidence. It is no disparagement of the gentlemen 
who have been hitherto called in as advisers to say that an expert 
department would be far more satisfactory and produce better results. 

In other countries people have realised this fact, and have established 
expert Agricultural Departments. In the United States there is the 
Central Office at Washington, and besides that nearly every state of the 
Union has its own. In England there is the Board of Agriculture with 
a professional staff. In Australia, the three colonies of New South 
Wales, Victoria and South Australia have expert Departments : so 
has India. The speaker exhibited to the meeting specimens of the 
periodical publications of some of these: the "Insect Life" of the 
Washington Office, the " Agricultural Gazette " of the Sydney Board, 
the "Indian Museum Notes" of Calcutta, the Reports of the State 
Boards of New York, California, Nebraska, Iowa, and others. One 
thing was specially noticeable about all these (which were issued at 


short intervals, some monthly) :' and that was that they were specially 
adapted to the circumstances of the country they appeared in. Now in 
New Zealand we have nothing, or almost nothing of the kind. The 
Government issued lately a little pamphlet about the Phylloxera and 
other vine-diseases : it is good enough as far as it goes, but it is nothing 
more than a compilation from facts known in other countries and does 
not specially apply to New Zealand. 

Two things ought to be very earnestly borne in mind in considering 
this question. One (noticed in an earlier part of the speech) is that the 
department required must deal not only with farmers but with all sorts 
of persons interested iu all sorts of cultivation : it results from this that 
a mere " practical farmer " would be entirely insufficient to direct it. 
Independently of the general disinclination of the " practical farmer" 
to look an inch beyond his nose, a much wider and deeper knowledge is 
necessary than he is at all likely to possess. Secondly the Department 
must deal with every kind of friend or foe to cultivation : animal foes 
such as insects are not always more destructive than vegetable foes such 
as the various fungi or noxious weeds : consequently the Department, if 
not the officer in charge of it, must be two-sided. In New South 
Wales, and in Victoria, and in the United States, the various Boards 
include separate staffs of entomologists and botanists. It is of course 
difficult for any Minister in New Zealand to pluck up courage enough 
to tell Parliament that two salaried officers are wanted. But he might 
at least start with one, and the speaker in a letter sent lately to the 
Minister of Lands strongly urged that in England an officer could be 
obtained competent to at least make a good start with a Department, 
and sufficiently expert in economic entomology and in economic botany. 
The suggestion made in the letter was that, say, the Royal Agricultural 
College at Cirencester should be applied to, or Professor Wallace of 
the Edinburgh University, to recommend such an officer. 

Complaints are sometimes made that the subjects treated of at 
meetings of this Society are not sufficiently practical. Well, here at 
least is a practical question demanding a practical solution. Whether 
the solution would be given by the Government and the parliament 
might nor might not be likely : at all events it was good to put on 
record the opinions just expressed, and the speaker trusted, that if his 
views were considered to be correct, the Society would endorse them by 
passing the resolution which he proposed to move presently. 

The Hon. Mr. P. Pharazyn said that he quite agreed with Mr. 
Maskell that it was of the greatest importance that such an expert 
department should be established, and he would be glad to do all in his 
power to support such a movement. It had been found that a depart- 
ment of this kind had worked well in other countries and had proved 
of the greatest benefit to those engaged in agricultural pursuits. 

Mr. Geo. Beetham also agreed with the author's views on this 
subject; he believed that if pi - operly represented, the Government ami 
the parliament would favourably consider such a proposition. He com- 
plimented Mr. Maskell on the valuable work he had done in this 
branch of science, and said that the thanks of the Society were due to 
him for having brought this important matter forward. 


Mr. Carlile thought that the farmers would highly approve of the 
establishment of such a useful department, and he thought the various 
incorporated societies would assist in urging its formation. 

The President agreed with all that had been said. He now called 
on Mr. Maskell to read his resolution. 

Resolution — "That in the opinion of this Society the establishment 
of a well equipped expert Agricultural Department is of urgent necessity 
in New Zealand." 

Mr. Harding, in seconding the resolution, said that if only in the 
interests of economy, Mr. .Maskell's proposition deserved all support. 

The resolution was cariied, and a copy of it was ordered to be sent 
to the Hon. Minister of Lands. 

(2) "On Animal Intelligence," by W W. Carlile, M.A. (Abstract.) 
The importance of the study had come to be recognised only of late 
years In the one fact of its having drawn attention to the great 
principle of heredity, especially of the heredity of acquired faculty, it 
had revolutionised the current mode of thought not only in psychology 
but also in ethics, politics and history. Dr. Kuno Fischer in Ids work 
on Francis Bacon of Verulam had contrasted the " Anglo-Gallic En- 
lightenment " with the German, pointing out to what an extent the 
prevalent mode of thought in the former from Bacon to Voltaire and 
Rousseau, and from these to Mill and Macaulay, was anti-historical. 
Of this the incurable breach with history in the French Revolution was 
the practical outcome. If he had traced the course of English 
empirical philosophy farther down, to the period subsequent to the 
discovery of natural selection, then he would have found that it had 
learnt to think historically, that it had converged with the stream of 
German thought flowing in upon us through the channel of Carlyle's 
writings. If Hegel or Carlyle affirmed that the whole past was with 
us still in the depths of our present, the medern evolutionist said the 
same and gave the scientific grounds of his belief. He cited some 
passages in point from M r. Bagshot's "Physics and Politics." Principle 
of heredity might in any case have been recognised, but Animal 
Intelligence was for it the " Prserogativa installs," in regard to which it 
could not be overlooked. Ribot mentioned case of small dog convulsed 
with terror at scent of old piece of wolf's skin. The terrifying associa- 
tions were drawn not from the animal's own consciousness but from 
that of dead and buried ancestors. We were becoming familiar with 
the notion of hereditary memory. Science might soon have to grasp 
the idea of hereditary identity, and would then recognise that in a sense 
Plato was right about the pro-existence of the soul. 

So much as to the importance of the study : as to its fascinations 
we had all felt it, but on that very account had reckoned it trivial. 
Only of late the attempt had been made from the scientific point of 
view to collect authentic information about the display of incipient 
reason in animals. Such an attempt was embodied in Professor 
Romanes' book on Animal Intelligent e. 


Any of us who lived in the country would occasionally have 
instances analogous to those cited by Professor Romanes brought under 
notice, possibly supplementary or correcting them. A few had come 
under his own. He cited instances of hunted kangaroos making for 
water as it was then able to drown the dogs ; of horses on property at 
Wanstead in Hawkes Bay, during the drought felling cabbage trees ; of 
wild dogs feeding their pups by gorging themselves with flesh, then 
vomiting it out on arrival at home ; and of dog slipping his collar, with 
his modus operandi described. 

He alluded to Bain's view of the ' ; link of feeling and action," set 
forth in the " Emotions and the Will." It was that a young child or 
animal escaped a painful sensation or attained a pleasurable one in the 
first instance purely by chance. Its spontaneous activity prompted it 
to innumei'able movements in all directions. Some such movements 
were attended with relief from pain or augmented pleasures, and only 
after many repetitions perhaps came under the control of selective 
volition. It was a case of " firing innumerable shots to hit one bird." 
Had we not in these early manifestations of reason in ourselves an 
analogy to the operation of reason in the living universe 1 ? Nature tries 
innumerable variations before the one useful variation is hit on and 
survives. We ourselves had all done the same. Might we not then 
■catch a glimpse, behind the apparently fortuitous processes of nature, of 
the operations of a mind analogous to our own. 

Sir James Hector said the author had succeeded in making a very 
abstract and difficult point in philosophy quite interesting. He agreed 
with the side he took in the much discussed question of whether animal 
intelligence differed from our own in kind or only in degree, and 
whether the production of the highest intellect was the result of 
progressive and accumulated development. The story of the horses 
gnawing down the cabbage trees to obtain moistm - e is parallel with the 
well known habit of the mules in Mexico kicking the great cactus trees 
for the same purpose. 

Mr. Hulke remarked that the reasoning of animals differed from 
that of man only in degree ; he mentioned several facts relating to 
insects and animals to illustrate what he meant. 

Mr. Hudson gave an account of experiments made by Sir J. 
Lubbock with ants, which appeared to indicate that insects when placed 
out of their ordinary sphere of action exhibited very limited reasoning 

Mr. R. C. Harding said that the vulgar discrimination between 
instinct and reason might not be so unscientific as some of the speakers 
had assumed. It appeared to him to be based on a difference which 
was not one of degree. Instinct be regarded as the intuitive perception 
of interior qualities as distinguished from the merely exterior properties 
made known to us by the five senses. The instincts might therefore be 
taken as supplementary senses, on a different plane from the five 
ordinarily recognised. Between the perception by means of a sense and 
the intellectual result of rational effort there was an evident distinction, 
and a parallel distinction could bft traced between instinct and reason. 


The terror of a horse :it the odor of an unknown wild Least might be 
accounted for by inherited memory ; but it seemed more reasonable to 
attribute it to the immediate perception of a maleficent quality. 
Protective instincts like this were found throughout nature, but were 
so rudimentary in man, that physically, as compared with beasts and 
insects, he was the inferior animal. The nearer man approximated to 
the lower animals in his mode of life and intellectual development, the 
more powerful these instincts seemed to be ; but as his rational capacity 
increased, they were ignored and seemed gradually to disappear. Yet 
they were by no means to be despised, as where they existed, they 
enabled him to arrive by a short cut at a point, which could otherwise 
only be attained by great and laborious mental effort. Sometimes a 
child was found to possess almost in infancy faculties which showed how 
great the undeveloped possibilities of mankind were in this direction. 
There were well-attested cases of children knowing neither letters nor 
figures, — one a negro boy — who had a natural perception of qualities 
and relations of numbers, and a skill in dealing with them, exceeding 
that of trained mathematicians. The mental quality that could at once 
recognise a prime of almost any number of figures at sight, and the 
power of analysis which could resolve any divisible number into its 
factors, were not to be attained by the severest training; but this 
gift was actually possessed by a calculating child. Young Mozart, 
in early infancy, possessed a similar grasp of the qualities of sound — a 
p:actical as well as a theoretical perception, for he was able to play any 
instrument at sight. Hereditary memory would scarcely account for 
phenomena, like these, which were interesting as showing how im- 
measurably human instinct, in its higher forms, transcends that of the 
animal creation. Regarding Sir John Lubbock's celebrated experiments 
with ants, careful and systematic as they were, and completely as they 
failed to show anything like intelligent or conceited action, he did not 
think their results warranted us in rejecting the accumulated testimony 
of past ages on the subject. 

The President said that Mr. Carlile's illustration of heredity 
lecalled to his mind that many years before when riding a very quiet 
horse the animal suddenly leapt aside and began trembling in great fear 
on seeing a piece of rata vine coiled up and lying in the road exactly as 
a snake would be coiled. This horse was two generations from an 
Australian progenitor. It had been said that instinct is " inherited 
memory" — and although that might seem to explain such facts as the 
orderly movements and almost automatically-regulated actions of ants 
and bees, it by no means explained any unusual cleverness or excep- 
tional genius. For instance, the musical genius of Mozart could hardly 
be expected to be produced out of thin air, and yet it could certainly 
not be called "inherited." Reason had little to explain to us why 
Mozart as a child was a finished musician, and analogies drawn from 
one order of beings should lie used with great caution if applied to 
explain difficulties in regard to other kinds of creatures. Experiments 
had recently been made which show that when insects are subjected to 
the different bands cf light thrown down by the spectroscope they display 
different modes of action, lying dormant under one colour, growing 
intensely excited under another, and so on. It is possible that they 


live in quite another world than ours, so far as impression produced by 
the senses is concerned ; that phenomena which appear beautiful or 
terrifying to us make no impression upon them, and that knowledge 
which to us is a sealed book may be to them as an open scroll. The 
sense of touch in human beings is absolutely null and void compared 
with that sense in the ant which almost certainly communicates intelli- 
gibly with its fellows by means of contacting antenna?, while the sense 
of smell in civilized man is almost as feeble as it is useless. It is quite 
conceivable that other creatures have other senses the effects of which 
are no more to be appreciated by us than the tints of a landscape or a 
flower would be by a blind man. 

Mr. Carlile, in reply, said he found he had not been wrong in his 
anticipation that his instances of animal intelligence would be capped 
by others drawn from the recollections of other gentlemen present. He 
could not see how Mr. Harding's view that what appeared to be results 
of hereditary memory could square with the facts. The qualities of a 
thing were simply the impressions it made on the senses, its colour, 
smell, and so on, and to say that the horror which a New Zealand 
bred horse felt for what looked like a snake was possibly not owing to 
hereditary memory to the horse's perceptions of some — to us occult 
quality — conveyed no meaning to his mind. The theory of an inverse 
ratio between instinct and reason, started, he thought, by Sir W. 
Hamilton, accorded with some of the facts of natural history, but was 
far from being true universally. He cited from Wallace's " Malay 
Archipelago," what seemed an instance in point of its truth. A baby 
orang-outang which they captured, belonging as it did to the anthro- 
pomorphous apes, showed all the characteristics of the human baby as 
regarded its utter helplessness, the result being that its captors nursed 
and tended it and became greatly attached to it. The young of 
monkeys lower down in the intellectual scale were much more capable 
of taking care of themselves at an eirly age. 

Wellington, 9th September, 1891— W. L. Travers Esq., F.L.S., (in 
absence of the President) in the chair. 
New Member.— Mi-. P. T. Turnbull. 

Papers. — (1) " Instances of Instinct in Insects," by G. V. Hudson, 
F.E.S. (Abstract.) This paper was an account of a lew recently 
observed instincts in insects, chiefly borrowed from the " Entomologists' 
Monthly Magazine." The author attributed the remarkable faculties 
■exhibited to the action of natural selection and inheritance, and 
endeavoured to explain how beneficial variations in structure and 
instinct might be eventually perfected by these two forces. In the 
concluding portion of the paper the differences between reason and 
instinct were thus dealt with. 

During the discussion which followed the reading of Mr. Carlile's 
paper, Mr. Harding contrasted instinct and reason, and showed how, in 
many respects, the former attribute was superior to the latter. If it is 
admitted that instinct is the inherited experience of the race whilst 
reason is that of the individual only, then the explanation of the 


superiority of instinct is obvious — instinct is the result of continued 
selections from the experiences of countless generations, whilst reason is 
only the experience acquired during the brief lifetime of a single 
individual. It is not surprising then that instinct so vastly transcends 
the intellectual power of the animal that exhibits it. I think that we 
may look for the development of human instinct when most of our 
individual experience or knowledge has become hereditary. At present 
only the capacity for acquiring knowledge is inherited among human 
beings, but, judging from the facts above considered, knowledge itself 
must in time be inherited also. So far from supposing then that we 
have lost our instincts through civilisation, I do not think that they 
have yet been evolved. Now nearly all our results have to be attained 
by long training and laborious mental calculations, but in the future 
we may hope to arrive at far greater results by almost unconscious 
instinctive processes. 

Mr. Phillips said he disagreed with the author as regards the 
hereditary instinct of animals ; he believed that animals and man 
derived their intelligence in constructive ability in a similar manner 
from a l: Common Vital Force," a subject on which he had written a 
paper before the Society a short time ago. He did not agree to place 
everything to evolution. A spider's web is superior to anything that 
man can construct, — there is a force in nature given to man or insects 
which is equal and not necessarily hereditary. 

Mr. Maskell said he was obliged to dissent from the conclusions of 
the paper. Whatever the reality might be of the three or four facts 
given by Mr. Hudson, they seemed entirely insufficient to form a basis 
for a theory of instinct such as was proposed. For example, in the 
case of the falling insect mentioned. Mr. Hudson adduced this as an 
instance clearly |>ointing to acquired faculties, the result of long series 
of minute variations and progress. But the case was of extreme 
weakness unless Mr. Hudson was prepared to assert, of his own 
knowledge, that the remote ancestor of this moth, the very first of the 
race, did not do precisely the same thing. Assuming (what did not 
seem to be proved) that the moth which fell on this occasion did so 
from fright : assuming that a moth could see far enough to detect an 
approaching enemy (also not proved), how could anyone say that the 
very first created moth of the species did not do the same thing under 
similar conditions? And if it did, where would the progressive 
inherited variation leading to the instinct of the moth now referred to 
come in ? The foundation of theories tending to sap and destroy the 
first principles of human belief, on such vague and unproved assertions 
as those of the paper, is mischievous in the extreme, and the speaker 
regretted that so many young students of the present day were apt to 
give way to the temptation of indulging in them. 

Sir Walter Buller said he was somewhat disappointed with Mr. 
Hudson's paper, because its ambitious title had led him to expect much 
more than it gave in the way of original research. He could not 
conceive of a more fruitful suhject than the one selected by this author ; 
but instead of the large array of facts from his own experience one 


might have expected, Mr. Hudson had recorded only two instances of 
remarkable instinct in New Zealand insects, the rest being quoted from 
English authors. The paper appeared to him a little crude, but ho felt 
sure that Mr. Hudson was on the right track. It seemed to him 
impossible to reject this theory of hereditary instinct with such evidences 
before us. Take, for example, the hexagonal cell of the common honey 
bee. What the first bee may have done it was impossible of course to 
know, but within the memory of man this bee had constructed its cell 
on exactly the same model, as the result of hereditary instinct. 

Sir James Hector said that the paper was evidently an attempt to 

meet statements, attacking the theory of evolution, that were made at 

previous meetings. He held there was nothing about first causes in 

that theory, and that it was a powerful aid to the working naturalist in 

unravelling and unfolding the various steps in the scheme of creation. 

He recommended members to read some interesting anecdotes bearing 

... ° 

on the question of modification of instincts into individual reasoning 

powers, which are related in " Good Words " by Dr. Gunther. He 

referred especially to the nesting habits, in confinement, of the magpie 

and house sparrow, which showed that inherited memory or instinct, 

though very potent, could be overruled by individual effort. 

Mr. Harding called attention to what he had said at the last 
meeting, on Mr. Carlile's paper. He did not think we could have both 
reason and instinct. He related how a beaver in captivity showed 
instinct but very little reason. There was a communal instinct which 
enabled savages to construct bridges and such things without the aid of 
architects or surveyors. Mr. Hudson's paper, as a clue to the mystery 
of nature, was worthless ; but it was a good working theory for a 
naturalist. It was a mistake to put forward such statements as Mr. 
Hudson had done as if they were actual facts. 

Mr. Travers described how the gull carried the shell-fish to a 
height and then dropped it, when it broke and disclosed the fish inside 
which it fed upon. This was probably the result of an accident in the 
first instance, followed by reason in repeating the action. The bird 
could not acquire this from any created habit. Mr. Wallace seemed 
inclined to abandon the idea of instinct. Dr. Gunther's example of the 
magpie is remarkable. He did not think Mr. Hudson intended, as Mr. 
Maskell inferred, to dogmatise. The paper is valuable and contains 
most interesting facts. We must enquire into all facts of this kind if 
we wish to add to our knowledge in natural history. 

Sir Walter Buller said he wished to supplement Mr. Traverse 
account of this instinct displayed by Larus dominicanus in breaking 
shell-fish. During his travels, he had, thousands of times, watched the 
operations described by Mr. Travers, the bird ascending obliquely to a 
certain height in the air, then dropping the shell, and coming down to 
feast on the contents. But what had specially struck him was this : 
the sagacious bird never dropped the shell on soft sand or ooze, but 
always selected the hard portion of the beach where the impact of the 
falling shell would produce the desired result. Th it fact alone exhibited 


a certain amount of intelligence on the pivt of Lin bir.I. But there 
was this curious fact also. The young seagull never resorted to this 
mode of breaking shells. It took from two to three years for the bird 
to attain its full livery of black and white plumage ; it was easv, 
therefore, to distinguish the young bird in its spotted grey dress, and he 
could not remember having once seen it rise in the manner described. 
This would seem to tell against the theory of hereditary instinct, 
because the habit was evidently an acquired one, and the result of 

Mr. Hudson said, in reply, that he was very much gratified at the 
interest the Society had taken in his paper. He was sorry however 
that the title had been misleading. He merely offered it as a supplement 
to Mr. Carlile's paper, and did not pretend that it was in any way 
exhaustive. With reference to Mr. Phillips's remarks on the so- 
called "vital force," he was not aware that the existence of any such 
power had been demonstrated. In connection with Mr. Maskell's 
remarks he wished to direct attention to the extensive modifications 
which man had produced in many domestic productions by exercising 
selections in certain directions. Natural selection having such a much 
wider scope and so much more time to act in must have produced far 
greater results than man's selection. With regard to the term "natural 
selection," he was aware that there were certain objections to its use, 
but it was shorter than the more accurate one "survival of the fittest." 
In stating that the instincts of insects were inherited in the same 
manner as their structure and colouring he was onlv following the 
almost universal opinion of entomologists. In fact it appeared to him 
impossible to explain the phenomena of the insect world in any other 
way. How, for example, would it benefit an insect to inherit a 
resemblance to some inanimate object unless it also inherited the 
instinct to assume the peculiar position necessary to complete the 
deception 'I He could not understand Mi-. Harding's statement as to 
the superiority of the savage over the civilised man in works of 
engineering skill. In conclusion he was surprised at objections being 
raised to the idea that knowledge would gradually become an inherited 
attribute in the human race. How much better, for example, it would 
be if we could inherit all our elementary learning and thus have so 
much more time for more advanced studies? There were many 
instances where insects inherited the faculty of performing most 
complex actions without being taught, and he did not see why the 
same law should not apply to man when a sufficiently long interval of 
time had elapsed to render his activities hereditary. 

(2) Mr. Masked brought to the notice of the meeting a specimen of 
the Bot or horse fly, which has appeared in New Zealand during the 
last year; it affected horses in a most serious manner, 'driving them 
mad. He thought it right to make known the appearance of this pest. 

Mr Travers greatly feared that the direct steamers would he the 
means of introducing many such obnoxious insects. 

(3) " Notes and Observations on certain Species of New Zealand 
Birds — with specimens to illustrate the paper," by Sir Walter Buller, 
K.C.M.G., F. R.S. (Abstract.) Among the species treated of were 


notably the following: — (1) Platycercus unicolor, a green parrakeet from 
Antipodes Island, rediscovered by Captain Fail-child half a century 
after the type specimen had been placed on the shelves of the British 
Museum. Platycercus erythrotis, another parrakeet from Antipodes 
Island, intermediate in character between P. unicolor and the New 
Zealand bird (P. novce-zealandupj, which was also referred to. The 
author stated his views as to the manner in which the specific characters 
of Platycercus unicolor had, by isolation for countless generations, 
become developed, under the natural operation of the laws of evolution. 
He accounted for the piesence of an intermediate form subsisting sid ■ 
by side with Platycercus unicolor by the theory of an irruption or 
colonisation by Platycercus novce-zedlandice at a later period of time, 
but sufficiently remote to have produced a certain amount of divergence. 
He described the differences that presented themselves, remarking that 
these were first such changes and modifications as would naturally 
mark the gradual transition from P. novct-zealandw to P. unicolor. 
(2) Ocydromus earli, a live example of which had been brought by 
Captain Fairchild from Macquarie Island, thus supplying a very 
interesting fact in geographical distribution, seeing that the range of 
this particular species of Woodhen, so far as hitherto known, was 
restricted in- New Zealand to a portion of the West Coast of the South 
Island. (3) Ocydromus yreyi, of which species a veiy singular albino 
was described. (4) Diomedea canta, (the Shy Albatross), of which a 
very interesting account was given, the result of personal observation. 
(5) Diomedea regia, (the Royal Albatross), which had been described 
and named by the author at a previous meeting of the Society, and in 
relation to which some further particulars were given. The author 
stated that the distribution of the various species of Albatross on their 
breeding grounds is very curious. Although Mollymauks are plentiful 
on the Snares and on the Bounty Islands, neither Diomedea regia nor 

D. exulans are to be found there. On Campbell Island where O. regia 
reigns supreme, D. exulans is never seen. On the Auckland Islands, 
with the exception of the small colony of D. regia mentioned in a 
former paper, all the breeding birds belong to D. exulans. At the 
Antipodes Island, again, there are no Diomedea regia, whilst the 
breeding birds of the other species are for the most part in the dark 
plumage of immaturity. (6) Adamastor cinereus, of which rare species 
several specimens had lately been captured by Captain Fairchild half 
way between Wellington and the Chatham Islands. (7) Ta.cliyptes 
aquila, (the Great Frigate Bird), of which an example — only the second 
known in New Zealand waters, and exhibited at the meeting — struck 
itself against the lantern at the Cape Farewell lighthouse on the 15th 
April last, and was picked up in an injured state, and (8) the following 
seven species of Penguin, respecting each of which most interesting 
information was given as to habits and distribution, namely : — Apteno- 
dytes longirostris, Eudyptes chrysolophus, E. rachorhynchus, E. sclateri, 

E. chrysocome, E. antipodum, and Eudyptula undina. In treating of 
this group the author stated that he had satisfied himself as to Eudyptes 
clirysolophus being only the young of E. schlegeli ; but that the former 
name, being of older date, would have to take precedence according 
to the accepted rules of zoological nomenclature. 



The first excursion took place on Saturday, 10th October, when 
the subject selected was geology. Mr. A. McKay, F.G.S., was leader, 
and explained the several rocks and formations met with on the way to 
Karori. The new gold mine, near the Devil's Bridge, was also visited, 
and an examination made of the more recent formations on the Karori 
Flats. An extremely pleasant afternoon was spent, the weather being 
very fine. On Thursday, October 15th, the usual meeting was held at 
the Museum, the president, Mr. 0. Hulke, F.C.S., in the chair. Mr. 
McKay read introductory notes on geology, and also exhibited by means 
of the optical lantern, a number of slides illustrating the various terms 
used by geologists in describing the different formations of rock, which 
were explained to the members by the president. The photographs of 
many extinct animals were also shown in the same manner. They 
included illustrations of a very perfect specimen of Pterodactyl, or 
winged lizard, recently discovered in America ; the curious " fish 
lizard" or Ichthyosaurus ; a remarkable bird (Archaeopt&ryx), having a 
long tail composed of several vertebrae ; as well as photographs of the 
Deinotherium, Irish Elk, and several other extinct mammalia. The 
most recent forms of life were illustrated by a picture of the members of 
the club who took part in the last expedition, and portraits- of the 
leader, Mr. McKay, and the president, Mr. Hulke, which created great- 
interest The meeting was in every way a most enjoyable and 
successful one. 


Sydney, August 26th, 1891.— Professor Haswell, M.A., DSc, in 
the chair. 

The Chairman announced to the meeting with deep regret the 
death, only that morning, of the Government Geologist, Mr. Charles 
Smith Wilkinson, F.G.S., F.L.S. Mr. Wilkinson was an original 
member of the Society, for several years was a member of the Council, 
in the years 1883 and 1884 was President, and since 1885 had been 
one of the Vice-Presidents. His enthusiasm in the cause of Geological 
Science, his extensive knowledge of the geological features of Eastern 
Australia, his many personal qualities, and his decease at the compara- 
tively early age of 47, combine to render his loss one which will be 
severely felt. 

On the motion of Mr. Henry Deane it was resolved that a letter of 
sympathy from the meeting be sent to Mrs. Wilkinson. 

The reading of papers and other business was deterred, and the 
meeting then adjourned to September 30th. 


Sydney. 3rd September, 1891.— H. C. Russell, Esq., (Government 
Astronomer), in the chair. 


Papers. — (1) " On a Wave-propelled Vessel," by Lawrence 

(2) "Notes on a Disease among Rabbits," by Adrien Loir. M. 
Loir has been for some time conducting experiments with bacteria at 
Rodd Island. During April last, the Chief Inspector of Stock (Mr. 
Bruce) sent him 30 rabbits to the island. After a few days one died, 
and within the six days following seven more. He placed the remaining 
animals in separate cages, and two days later the ninth succumbed. 
This, however, was the last death, and since then the disease has 
completely disappeared. Two months ago, however, M. Loir received 
an additional consignment of 30 animals, which were placed in the cages 
occupied by the first lot. Up to the present no deaths had occurred, 
nor had the disease yet shown itself. Post mortem examinations were 
made of the dead animals, from which the lecturer learnt that the 
disease was inoculable from one rabbit to another, and to any animal cf 
another species, though the former seemed the more susceptible. The 
blood of a rabbit having died of the disease when inoculated in ordinary 
veal broth produced a cultivation of a microbe (streptococcus). A drop 
of the cultivation inoculated to another rabbit gave death with the same 
disease. Judging from the appearance of the microbe, and from the 
physiological reaction which it produced in animals, M. Loir believed 
that he had a microbe which was the cause of a spontaneous disease in 
rabbits not hitherto described. 

(3) " Notes on some recent Celestial Photographs taken at the 
Sydney Observatory," by H. C. Russell, Government Astronomer. The 
author stated that in order to complete the photographic apparatus at 
the Observatory, it was necessary to obtain such an attachment to the 
star camera as would serve to record highly magnified images of double 
stars, the moon and other objects. This had recently been added, so 
that now he could record double stars photographically on a scale which 
gave ample dimensions for accurate measurement. After describing the 
principal characteristics of a large number of photographs, which were 
laid before the meeting for inspection, he said that photography had 
altered their view of what nebula? in detail were like. The sensitive 
film seemed to grasp details which the eye could not see, and he was 
disposed to think that this was not owing to the faintness of the light, 
but to some inherent difference which the camera could and the eye 
could not see. 

(4) "Some Folk-songs and Myths from Samoa," by Dr. John 
Fraser, translated by Rev. G. Pratt. 


Sydney, 10th September, 1891. — C. VV. Darley, Esq., in the chair. 

The discussion upon the paper read by Mr. J. I. Haycroft, on 
"Methods of Determining the Stresses in Braced Structures," was 
resumed by Mr. H. W. Parkinson and Mr. Grimshaw. 


Professor Warren in the course of an interesting paper on the 
subject, dealt in an exhaustive manner with the latter portion of Mr. 
Haycroft's paper, in which the Cowra bridge, now under construction 
by the Roads and Bridges Department, was referred to. He said both 
the department and Mr. Hayci'oft had calculated the stresses by graphic 
and analytical methods, which agreed with each other ; but the results 
arrived at by Mr. Haycroft differed from those arrived at by the 
department. Dealing with American bridges, he said he thought every 
English bridge engineer freely admitted the skill and ability displayed 
by the Americans in the construction of bridges. Although we have 
the Forth Bridge, he said, we cannot claim that our ordinary bridges 
are superior to those constructed in America. We certainly could not 
claim that we disposed our materials in a more scientific manner, for 
we have the facts clearly pointed out by Sir B. Baker on this subject. 
American engineers had adopted for their ordinary iron and steel 
bridges a form of trass or girder very similar in appearance to their 
timber bridge, and which resembled the form adopted by the Roads and 
Bridges Department for timber bridges. It would be found on examining 
a variety of the best designs, such as those of the Union Bridge 
Company, that in iron and steel bridges where the stresses were 
definite, they adopted the form known as the American truss bridge, 
and for timber bridges a truss which was almost identical with the 
Roads and Bridges truss, with the identical bars which, according to 
Mr. Haycroft, were untrussed. Before condemning the Cowra bridge, 
he thought it desirable to show that a better composite bridge could be 
constructed. He submitted that neither Mr. Haycroft's paper nor the 
discussion had shown that the Cowra bridge was unsafe or liable to 
become so. He had seen a great many timber bridges in Australia and 
New Zealaud, but he considered the Cowra bridge, in spite of the 
ambiguity in the determination of the stresses developed in it, to he 
superior to any other. 


Melbourne, August 10th 1891. — Professor W. Baldwin Spencer in 
the chair. 

New members. — Messrs. J. H. Craig, jun., B. Eugene, F. Gladish 
H. A. Lamble, F. Marsh, J. Mitchell, and N. T. Wilsmore, B.Sc. 

Paper. — (1) " Mode of Reproduction of Peripatus Leuckartii," by 
Dr. A. Dendy, F.L.S. Last May, Dr. Dendy obtained three specimens 
from Macedon, and kept them, in company with one from another 
district, in a small vivarium, and at the end of July some 12 or 15 eggs 
were laid. These eggs were easily seen, being fairly large, oval in 
shape, and covered with a tough, thick, elastic membrane. Microscopic 
examination of one of them showed that the membrane enclosed a thick, 
milky fluid, full of yolk granules, the enclosing case being exquisitely 
sculptured in a regular design. This discovery is of importance, as in 
all other species whose life history is known, the viviparous habit — 


where the young are born alive — is one of the most remarkable 
characters of the genus. Dr. Dandy is carefully watching these eggs, 
with a view to their further development. 

The usual exhibition of specimens took place afterwards. 

Melbourne, September, 14th, 1891. — D. Best, Esq., in the chair. 

New members. — Messrs. L. J. Balfour, A. D. Denny, J. P. 
Fiddian, B.A.. A. E. Hill, P. A. Officer, and J. J. Porter. 

Papers.— (1) "The Supposed Human Footprints on ^Eolian Hocks 
at Warrnambool," by C. G. W. Officer. In introducing the subject, 
Mr. Officer described in detail the formation and nature of the sand 
dunes and their connection with the underlying strata, as shown by the 
similarity of the stone now being (married there. Overlying the dunes 
in many places are sheets and veins of limestone, varying from a few 
inches to several feet in thickness. Last December a slab was dis- 
covered in one of the quarries bearing impressions which suggested that 
they were made by human beings. This slab was secured by Mr. 
Archibald, and placed in the Warrnambool Museum. The determination 
of the age of the rocks is of importance, and Mr. Officer, following the 
lead of Professor Tate, alleged them to be pleistocene, and suggested 
that the impressions were made by two individuals sitting close 
together, and somewhat obliquely to each other. In the discussion 
which followed, Mr. D. M'Alpine, F.C.S., spoke in complimentary 
terms of the paper, and referred to the action of carbonate of lime in 
the preservation of such marks, whilst Mr. F. R. Godfrey, who had 
seen the slab, bore testimony to the remarkable similarity of the 
impressions to human footprints. Mr. J. Dennant, F.G.S., however, 
disputed Mr. Officer's deductions, basing his objections not only on the 
fact that these dunes were generally formed in a comparatively short 
time, but also on their position relative to the newer basalt and a 
fossiliferous bed, both of which are of recent formation. Mr. G. Sweet 
supported Mr. Dennant, and Messrs. F. G. A. Barnard, C. M. Bridger, 
and F. Wisewould also joined in the discussion. 

(2) "Maori preserved heads of New Zealand," by T. Steel, F.C.S. 
Preference was made to the custom of the Maoris in the reverence they 
pay to their deceased ancestors, and corresponding customs amongst the 
natives of Africa, New Guinea, New Hebrides, Egypt, ami Australia. 
The writer then described the method adopted by the Maoris in 
preserving the heads of distinguished persons, and exhibited a very 
good specimen in illustration, the age of which could be traced back for 
ct least 50 years. He concluded by stating the fact that before the 
head came into his possession it had been neglected, and most of the 
hair had been destroyed by moths After having kept it some time, he 
noticed that a thin growth of very fine hair in scattered patches had 
taken place. In order to gain definite information of future growth the 
hair has been closely shaved from a marked patch. 

The meeting terminated by the usual exhibition of specimens. 


Melbourne, October, 12th, 1891. — C. Frost, Esq., in the chair. 

New members. — Mrs. 0. E. Andrews, Miss Burkett, Miss G. 
Sweet, Miss F. Thompson, and Messrs. E. T. Carter, J. L. Bowen, D. 
E. Martin, G. J. Page, W. Strickland, and .T. B. Walker. 

Paper. — (1) " Some peculiar changes in the colour of the flower of 
Swainsonia procumbens" by J. P. Eckert. When the flower opens the 
corolla is lilac, and the first change is noticed in the longitudinal venules 
of the largest petals, which soon after assume a deep crimson. Then, at 
two different points of the petals a dark blue is noticed, which gradually 
extends over the whole surface, the peripheral portion being a little 
paler in colour. In the central portion the colour varies through all 
the shades of blue till finally it assumes a rosy tint. Frequently the 
petals will assume their original colour for some days, and afterwards 
go through all the gradations of colour once more. Mr. Eckert assigns 
as the cause a meteorological one, that arch scourge — the north wind — 
being very effective towards its accomplishment. Experiments with 
the electric current gave almost conclusive testimony in favour of the 
hypothesis. In speaking upon the subject, Mr. T. Steel, F.C.S., gave 
some interesting letails as to the application of the spectroscope to this 
particular branch of study. 


Melbourne, August 13th, 1891. — Professor Kernot, President, in 
the chair. 

Papers. — (1) "On the mode of reproduction of Peripatus leuckartli," 
by Arthur Dendy, D.Sc. 

(2) " Short Descriptions of New Land Planarians," by Arthur 
Dendy, D.Sc. 

(3) Professor Spencer exhibited and remarked upon Notoryctes 
tyvhlops } the new Australian mammal recently described by Dr. E. C. 
Stirling of Adelaide. 

(4) " Notes on the recent Flood on the Yarra," by Professor W. 
C. Kernot. 

Melbourne. September 10th, 1891. — Professor Kernot, President, 
in the chair. 

Papers. — (1) Adjourned discussion on the paper read by Professor 
Kernot, on " Notes on the recent Flood on the Yarrow." 

(2) "On a new species of Graptolitidae — Temnograptus magnijicus," 
by J. 13. Pritchard; read by Dr. Dendy. This new fossil was discovered 
in Silurian strata near Lancefield. 

(3) " On the presence of Ciliated Pits in Australian Land Pla- 
naiians," by A. Dendy, D.Sc. The author stated that these structures 
have the form of little pits on the head ; they probably acted as 
olfactory organs, and were supplied with special nerves from the brain. 


Melbourne, October 8th, 1891. — E. J. White, Esq., in the chair. 

Papers. — (1) "Notes on the Distribution of Victorian Frogs, 
"with Description of two new species," by A. H. S. Lucas, M.A., B.Sc. 
These species were found at Narree Warren, Gippsland, and at Gisbprne 
and Macedon respectively. 

(2) E. F. J. Love, M.A., communicated a letter from Sir George 
Stokes, President of the Royal Society of London, concerning the 
Gravity Survey of Australia, written in reply to one from himself. 
The letter contained a number of suggestions, the most important being 
a new method, based on the principle of dynamical similarity, for the 
determination of the errors introduced into results of observations by 
variations of temperature and atmospheric pressure. 

(3) "Notes on the Magnetic Shoal near Bezout Island, North- 
West Australia," by R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S., C.M.G. This paper gave 
details of the results of observations made by Captain Moore, the 
commander of the " Penguin," under instructions from the Admiralty. 
According to these there was a magnetic shoal near the islands. It was 
about four miles long by two miles broad, and was at a depth of eight or 
nine fathoms. In a wooden ship, or composite vessel like the "Penguin," 
the compasses would act as usual after leaving the shoal. Whether or 
not induction would take place in an iron vessel was a matter yet to be 
ascertained. At present there was no evidence of danger to navigation, 
except that a vessel steering by compass across the shoal would be set 
out of her course, more or less, according as to whether she cut the 
shoal at the narrowest part of it or obliquely. The locus of the shoal 
was 20 deg. 32 min. 35 sec. S., 117 deg. 13 min. 2 sec. E. From it 
Bedout Island summit was distant 2*17 miles, and bore S. 78 deg. 49 
min. W. 


Hobart, September 8th, 1891.— His Excellency Sir R. G. C. 
Hamilton, K.C.B., President, in the chair. 

His Excellency referred to the paper read on behalf of Mr. A. J. 
Ogilvy at last meeting on the best means of collecting scientific 
information, and suggested that the matter should be brought under the 
notice of the approaching meeting of the Australasian Association for 
the Advancement of Science. He considered that valuable information 
would be obtained if, as suggested, there was a representative of the 
Society in every district to keep his eyes and ears open, and let them 
know of anything of scientific interest. 

Mr. A. J. Ogilvy said he regarded it as very important that in 
every district the Society should have some one to represent it, and 
pointed out that if at any time it wanted any special local knowledge 
there would be somebody to whom application could be made. He 
thought that the Fellows should consider as to the best means of 
carrying out the suggestion made, and deal with the subject at a future 

Paper. — (1) "Electric Traction," by Montague Jones, C.E. 


It is with considerable regret that I have to announce to the 
subscribers of the The New Zealand Journal of Science that 
the second attempt to keep a periodical of the kind going in this 
colony has proved unsuccessful. With the present number this 
issue comes to a close. There can be no doubt of one fact in 
regard to such a periodical, namely, that if it were sufficiently 
supported by all the scientific societies of Australasia even as a 
record of their proceedings, it would prove most valuable. Speaking 
for myself, — and my want must be that of numbers of others 
interested in, and attempting to carry on scientific work, — I have 
often wanted to know what was being done in other colonies and 
in other parts of this colony in certain lines of research. A 
journal in which all the societies could record their doings would 
therefore be most useful, and this the present publication has 
attempted to do. Unfortunately secretaries of societies are not 
always alive to the importance of keeping their members in touch 
with other and similar organisations, and any imperfections in this 
direction are attributable to this cause. So convinced am I of the 
good which would result from a joint publication of their proceedings 
by the various scientific societies in Australasia, that I would urge 
upon those members who meet in conference at Hobart next 
January, to try to come to some arrangement in this direction. 

'the history of private enterprise in connection with scientific 
periodicals in Australia and New Zealand has been one of failure. 
Most of the societies in existence receive just so much Government 
aid as enables them to publish their papers, and in this way to 
kill private effort. 

The previous and present issues of this Journal, the Southern 
Science Record, and, within the last twelve months, the issue of 
the Spectrum in Sydney, all testify to the fact. At the same 
time many of the scientific societies, and notably the N.Z. Institute 
are so long in the publication of their papers, that an author may 
wait twelve months after reading a paper before he sees it in 
print. This certainly wants remedying. Meanwhile the publication 
of an abstract in a widely-spread periodical would obviate many of 
the objections. 

In conclusion I would express the hope that the suggestion 
thrown out here may be acted upon, and that a mild form of 
federation in the department of scientific work may precede that 
political federation of Australasia of which we have heard so much 
of late years. 


Dunedin, November 14th 1891. 




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